Operators Promise a Friendly Patient Experience
Massachusetts-based cannabis company Insa recently opened their first medical marijuana dispensary at 27751 Chardon Road in Willoughby Hills, Ohio, a suburb on Cleveland’s east side. From transforming an old Friendly’s restaurant into a place for patients to shop for cannabis to developing a top-notch education program, operators share what Insa has in store for Ohio cannabis patients:
Insa co-founders Peter Gallagher and Pat Gottschlicht were childhood best buds who got into the cannabis business after a chance encounter with a Colorado brand owner in 2013. The two started cultivating in Massachusetts in 2017, and later expanded into Pennsylvania, Florida and now Ohio.
“We are thrilled to meet the medical market in Ohio and introduce them to Insa’s unique approach to educating and providing a tailored experience for every patient,” said Gallagher. “Our mission in opening our Willoughby Hills location was to curate a selection of premium products by engaging with local cultivators and processors who are true artisans. Making medical cannabis accessible within communities by providing high-quality products and creating a welcoming and engaging environment is a true passion of the Insa team.”
With over fourteen dispensaries across multiple states, Insa provides an unparalleled in-store experience through their prioritization of education for their employees and exceptional retail design.
Shopping at the Insa Dispensary
With a 360-degree shoppable sales floor, beautiful display cases, and a motion-censored flower bar that provides authentic aromas of available strains, Insa’s Willoughby Hills dispensary was designed to allow for a more engaging experience between patients and associates.
Shopping at dispensaries can feel intimidating and be a barrier for new patients to learn about cannabis. Insa’s management wants to put customer service and experience first, focusing on education and in creating a retail environment that helps to destigmatize cannabis, by making the in-store experience not only easy to navigate but also entertaining. “Our goal is to create an inviting, fun experience for patients,” says Gallagher.
Michael Becker, General Manager for Insa Willoughby Hills, echoes that a lot of cannabis dispensaries in Ohio feel clinical, like a doctors’ office or pharmacy. The former Friendly’s that houses Insa now is painted brightly, diverging from the typical drab dispensary colors. Additionally, Becker says a fun and vibrant culture at Insa makes the dispensary experience really unique, and it is what patients will notice coming in for the first or the hundredth time. A team of knowledgeable budtenders have been hired to support this effort. “There’s no shortage of incredible young minds that have really dug deep into this stuff,” Becker says. “So you can expect a staff who knows a lot about the cannabinoid system, terpenes, and all the different kinds of profiles one might encounter as a patient.”
Bud Bar: Smell Your Flower Before You Buy
In addition to helping patients select the right cannabis products for their condition, Insa’s Ohio dispensary has been approved for a Bud Bar, which allows patients to smell the strains in sample jars before they commit to a purchase. This innovation helps patients better identify which strains might be most effective for them, but many dispensaries did away with them during the pandemic.
The Bud Bar is just one way Becker hopes to change the way medical cannabis shoppers buy. “I think some of our neighboring dispensaries got the Ohio patients really trained to shop discounts only and look for lots of different brands. So we’re struggling with that being not fully vertical.”
Through partnering with local brands, Insa is able to offer a wide array of products, although they want to add products that patients specifically say they want. He encourages patients to make requests at Insa if a patient finds products that are useful but can’t be sourced elsewhere. “I really want to build my store around what my patient is asking for,” he says.
Insa accepts cash, debit, Can Pay, and Dutchie Pay. There is also an ATM available inside the building.
Insa Willoughby Hills is open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. every day.
20% everyday for veterans, industry and those who qualify as indigent. Additional daily discounts will be posted.
Order Ahead at Insa Willoughby Hills
Order online and contact the dispensary directly with any questions at www.insa.com/ohio.
Insa will be supporting MedicateOH during the month of August with donation boxes at dispensary registers. Stop in and meet the MedicateOH team on Friday, August 18th from 12-4 p.m.