Reno Embraces Its First Medical Cannabis Collective

As cannabis gains ground throughout the country, it seems to emerge in a slightly different way from state to state.

Sierra Wellness Connection recently opened in Reno, Nevada, and although it drew a large number of community members for its grand opening, the understated atmosphere provides a contrast to some of the more high profile, almost flamboyant openings of the early clubs in Colorado and California.

Sierra Wellness Connection operates its own grow facility with anywhere from 15 to 20 strains. They also offer cannabis-infused products as they become available in Nevada.

The new location is clinical and professional as well as warm and friendly. Dispensary manager Eva Grossman says, “A lot of very sick people are coming to us. These people have been waiting a long time for cannabis to arrive in Nevada.”

Whatever it is, the attitude toward cannabis in Reno is, for the most part, quietly accepting. Grossman says the collective has encountered nothing but positive support as it eases into the community, establishing its place as a legitimate medical alternative for patients.

Ganjapreneurs may want to take note.

Reading a community is an integral part of building a successful business. And as consumers become more sophisticated, they are demanding more both in the quality of goods and in service.

Sierra Wellness Connection is getting to know its community through a strong emphasis on education. Whereas many clubs won’t let you through the door unless you have a doctor’s recommendation and are ready to join the collective, Sierra Wellness Connection provides an open library and consultation room that welcomes anyone whether or not they are patients.

Grossman says this is particularly helpful for potential clients who need help with the very first steps. The entire process of seeing a doctor and getting a recommendation can be intimidating, but if they have a place to go and a knowledgeable person to help guide them, it takes away some of that fear. She says a fair number of people have stopped by just for information, and that’s fine with her. Grossman is a strong patient advocate. She stresses the importance of not pressuring people, but rather giving them the time and resources they need to make their own decisions.

Grossman is also an example of how women ganjapreneurs are changing the face of the cannabis industry. A powerhouse of energy, she comes across as proficient and organized. The collective is clearly geared toward medical use. You probably won’t find half naked women — or men — on their product labels. Sierra Wellness Connection is among the wave of new businesses working hard to change marijuana’s stoner image.

Photo Credit: Trevor Bexon

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