Shangri-La Dispensaries entered the Ohio medical cannabis dispensary market earlier this month opening their “Superstore” in Monroe on June 1st. The team will open three more dispensaries soon across the state. MedicateOH spoke with operators at Shangri-La about the unique experience their stores will bring to Ohio medical marijuana patients.

Shangri-La Founded in Missouri 

Founded in Missouri in 2019, Shangri-La’s team have extensive backgrounds in retail compliance, business management, medicine, and dentistry. Shangri-La first started with medical marijuana. They created a model that focuses on patients’ overall well-being, providing education, and cultivating a better understanding and perception of cannabis. 

Ohio is part of a larger expansion plan for Shangri-La Dispensaries. Owner Nevil Patel explains, “While Missouri was being built up, an opportunity in Ohio, Illinois, and some of the other states came along so we grabbed onto those opportunities. We’ve got some licenses in Ohio, as well as Illinois, Connecticut, South Dakota, and potentially in New Jersey. So all of the above being said, we are in this industry for the long term.”

Shangri-La Ohio Locations: Cleveland, Delphos, Monroe (Warren County/Butler County)

Shangri-La’s Superstore opened on June 1st at 211 Brooks Drive in Monroe. The team will open three more locations across Ohio–one will be in Cleveland, one in Delphos, and the third will be located across the 1-71 expressway from the Brooks Dr. location.

Patel explains how this happened: “Ohio had a unique application process where you select a location, and then you go through the drawing. It’s a lottery so the more tickets you have, the better chance you have of winning it. That’s kind of how the math worked out. So we acquired locations where we could, and we had 22 different locations. And the two that got picked out happen to be in the same town. It’s funny how the district is divided between two different counties and the highway separates Butler County from Warren County. So they are technically two different districts.”

Although unintentional, the two Monroe stores’ proximity will bring better visibility to Shangri-La in Monroe and added convenience for patients, Patel said. 

Shangri-La: A Patient-Focused Experience

A point of pride for Patel and his team is the top-notch customer service that patients will find at Shangri-La. Patel explains that the large vertically integrated operators sometimes get pressure to push their own products as opposed to what might be best medicinally. “In Ohio specifically, we’re not connected with any manufacturer or any cultivator,” he says, which allows them to carry a much wider variety of products than some of their competitors. 

“We’re focused on the patient’s well being, as well as product choices available for all different types of patients. We dive deep into your needs as a patient. We understand what products can potentially work the best. We try that product. If it doesn’t work, we replace that product with something else. And we basically try and find a specific medication that works for a specific patient. And until we do that, we keep on diving deeper.” Having a broader list of choices of products available will help speed this process along, says Patel. 

Invested in the Communities they Serve

Providing that variety to meet patients’ needs has been one of Shangri-La’s biggest successes in the Missouri market and Patel’s proud to be bringing that to Ohio.“What we try to do that differentiates us is we’re heavily focused on the local community that we operate in, as well as a super patient focus.”

Amber Miller, Director of Retail Operations for Shangri-La, shares Patel’s vision for a patient-focused experience. She’s spent the better part of the last year hiring and building a team of experts and passionate cannabis educators. Patients who’ve been in the medical marijuana program for some time may recognize Shangri-La’s budtenders from other local dispensaries. These senior budtenders have been busy helping to bring the newer team members up to their level of knowledge.

The Shangri-La Superstore’s large open floorplan lends well to vendor education pop-up events. Patel and Miller say these one-on-one experiences will be a key way to provide patients with chances every day to meet the makers of their medicine. “Having a larger floor space allows us to have multiple vendors in at a time. It’s a floor space that’s large enough to basically be able to do events for customers to spend their time while they’re waiting on their turn.”

In addition to various daily discounts and specials, veterans, those with indigent status, and industry employees receive 25 percent off daily at Shangri-La. 

Shangri-La will be open to serve Ohio medical marijuana patients from 10 am-7 pm daily, 365 days a year. The Monroe Superstore also has a drive-thru for convenience, although it is reserved for established patients. New patients need to come inside.

MedicateOH Partnership 

The patient community may donate to MedicateOH all month at Shangri-La dispensary registers. The MedicateOH team will be in store on Saturday, July 8th from 12-4 p.m. to talk to the community about the journalism we do and our experiences as patients and caregivers. Stop by and see us!

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  • Gabrielle Dion

    Medicate OH's Founder and Publisher is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio and holds an undergraduate degree in journalism and a master's degree in public administration, both from Northern Kentucky University. She has more than 20 years of experience writing and editing professionally for the medical and wellness industries, including positions with The Journal of Pediatrics, Livestrong, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and Patient Pop.