Talking Colorado Cannabis with Groundswell's Operations Manager - Danielle
We sit down to talk with Danielle from Groundswell Dispensary in Denver, COlorado. She fills us in on what it's like at Groundswell as well as some changes in the INDUSTRY since recreational was set in place in 2014.
Q: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING IN THE Cannabis INDUSTRY?
A: I started working in the industry in May of 2010 as a budtender. So 6 amazing years!
Q: SO, WHAT'S IT LIKE WORKING AT GROUNDSWELL?
A: Working at GroundSwell is like working at your favorite neighborhood coffee shop except we sell cannabis not coffee. We serve a lot locals and repeat customers, a lot of the patients know each other from other parts of the community. We are truly a family and we really try to breed that culture in all aspects of the company.
Q: BEING ON COLFAX, WE ASSUME YOU SEE MANY OUT OF STATE CUSTOMERS DAILY. WHAT ARE FIRST TIME SHOPPERS USUALLY SAYING ABOUT THE PLACE?
A: Due to our location, we see a ton of first time shoppers and out of state customers. We get a very wide variety of people and experience levels as well. Almost everyone who leaves here is always talking about the superior level of customer service. We strive to treat every single customer like a VIP. From the Colfax Grit to the Colfax Class every person that walks into the store gets the red carpet treatment. We also strive to make sure that everyone gets a proper cannabis education during their shop. People are also often caught raving about our organic flower and our high quality extracts.
Q: GROUNDSWELL IS AN EXPERIENCE BASED DISPENSARY. CAN YOU WALK US THROUGH ON WHAT IT'S LIKE TO PURCHASE FROM THE RECREATIONAL SIDE?
A: After you check in at the window, customers are asked to take a seat in the waiting area until we can pair them up with a specialist to assists them with their visit. Once it’s time the customers are brought back onto the sales floor and given a rundown on how GroundSwell operates. They are presented the available strains shown prices and then asked if they are looking for anything specific. The specialist works with 1 group at a time to ensure that every customer in that group is able get the proper product education and that no question goes unanswered. Once all of the need products are identified, the customer is taken to the fulfillment window. All customers are encouraged to join the GroundSwell Cannabis Society at this time and the transaction is finalized with a second ID check and the cash transfer takes place.
Q: IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, HOW HAS RECREATIONAL SALES EFFECTED THE MEDICAL SIDE?
A: Some people would argue that business on the Medical side is declining but I think that Medical is undergoing a transformation. At this point in the Medical Industry you have two kinds of shoppers; serious medical users which includes the medical refugee families and the bulk product shoppers. Because of the progression of the industry over the years, if you don’t have a medical card you probably aren’t going to get one because shopping without it is so easy. I think a lot of people are turning to the recreational side because it's more convenient. I really think that 2017 is going to be the year that we really expose the real group of medical patients and we will see less and less medical customers with recreational shopping habits. Some people see this a downfall for the industry but I really think that it’s time that we created this division and get the real medical patients the attention and help they deserve.
Q: BESIDES LOOKS, HOW DOES GROUNDSWELL STAND OUT FROM THE OVER SATURATED CANNABIS MARKET?
A: Besides our aesthetic the quality of our flower is what sets us apart from everyone else in the industry. We are truly organic in everything that we do!
Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE STRAIN THAT YOU CARRY AND WHY?
A: I am really a person who smokes with purpose so it’s hard for me to choose 1 strain as my favorite! My favorite GroundSwell strains are the Golden Goat for all my daytime sativa needs and the Cherry Lime is my indica preference. Both strains have stellar flavor profiles and their effects are exceptional. The Golden Goat is extremely energetic and focusing. While the Cherry Lime is relaxing without being a total knockout.
Q: EVERY REVIEW WEBSITE WE CAN FIND HAS A LOT OF POSITIVE REVIEWS ABOUT YOUR LOCATION, MANY OF THEM IN REGARDS TO AWESOME CUSTOMER SERVICE. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR WHEN HIRING A NEW BUDTENDER?
A: GroundSwell doesn’t hire very often but when we do we only look for absolute rockstars! All of our budtenders all have multiple years of experience in an Industry of Service, whether that’s nursing, serving, bartending, or baristas we find employees with similar work histories do well in the cannabis industry, being able to speak to the needs of patients, show exemplary customer service and thrive in a high energy, fast paced environment. We also only hire passionate people. People who strive to change the world one smile at a time. But most importantly we hire people who want work for us for a long time, we don’t hire people who think of this as just a job we hire people who know cannabis is a career!
Q: WHAT IS IN THE WORKS FOR 2017? ANYTHING YOU CAN FILL US IN ON?
A: We have a lot in the works for 2017! Most of it at this point in the year is pretty Top Secret. We have a few more big things planned for our exclusive Artist Strains Logic Diesel and Oteil's Egyptian Kush. But I can tell you that we are planning on entering the Rooster Classic with several flower entries and even more concentrate entries. Just keep your ear out for GroundSwell big things are going to be happening around here and you will want to be apart of it!
Q: FINAL AND MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: WHAT ARE YOU MOST GRATEFUL FOR TODAY?
A: I am grateful for the opportunity to meet new people everyday and teach them about the benefits of cannabis. I am grateful I found a company like GroundSwell who genuinely cares about the community they are creating and servicing. But I am most grateful for the fact that I am able to make a career out my passion for cannabis. This is truly a blessing and I couldn’t be more happy about my life and the direction that it’s going!