Michigan-based cannabis retailer Nar Reserve enters the Ohio medical marijuana market with their first Buckeye state dispensary at 350 E Long St in Columbus. Their operators talked with us about the benefits of the medical market, their focus on education, and what medical marijuana patients in the Columbus area can expect from the experience shopping at Nar Reserve Dispensary.
The Dispensary Lottery
Michigan dispensary Glass Jar operator Waseem Younis and his friend Ali Bazzi, along with a few other partners, decided to break into the Ohio market. The two were college buddies, with Ali living in the Columbus area. Waseem explains: “When my partners and I got our first license (in Michigan), we found out that Ohio was opening up a lottery. And that’s when I asked Ali, ‘Hey, are you interested?’ So we got together, and put together a team of individuals from Ohio and Michigan.”
The group submitted more than 30 applications in the 2021 Ohio dispensary lottery and their application for the Columbus location at 350 E Long St was selected from more than 1400 applications.
Upon winning the bid, the group put together a team to help construct the buildout as well as employees. The company was rebranded from being Glass Jar Reserve to Nar Reserve before they officially opened.
Regulations Bring Opportunity
Nilendu Singh, General Manager, noted that the restrictions in Ohio were vastly different than what they were familiar with from the dispensaries in Michigan, where all adults can use cannabis recreationally. However, Singh noted that this gave the team an opportunity to build an education program to properly counsel both budtenders and patients about the latest advancements in the science of cannabis as medicine.
Isaiah Brady, Purchasing Manager, shared that the owners talked to cultivators and processors throughout the state before they even started groundwork and asked what the shortcomings of dispensaries were. “There was so much more to those conversations about how dispensaries were run and what patients were asking for that they decided to implement in not just our SOPs, but also how our building is laid out and how to best give customers a consistently positive experience.” Brady says his goal is to incorporate not only the hot selling items, but also the medical items such as 1:1 THC:CBD gummies, tinctures, full CBD products and a storage of as many things as possible that any patient would need for different qualifications.”
Brady echoes the operators’ intention to serve Ohioans as patients of medical marijuana, not just as users of cannabis. That means offering exactly what they need, whether it be flower, tincture, edibles, or another form of administration. “Nar is focused on trying to build out the most expansive inventory for all the patients to be able to use. Our vault is one of, if not the largest one, in all of Ohio.”
“We want to curate the best product at the best price and give the best service,” Younis said.
Parking & Payment Options
Parking for Nar Reserve is located across the street from the dispensary. Patients who come to Nar Reserve can currently pay with cash. A debit machine is available and plans are in the works to implement Spendr and Dutchie Pay for additional payment options.
Mary Alleger, M.S., Education
A key area Nar owners want to focus on is making sure they have a knowledgeable staff, ready to tackle tough patient questions. The management team brought in Mary Alleger, a recent graduate of University of Maryland’s Master of Science degree in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics. Previous to earning her degree, Mary spent more than a decade fighting for cannabis reform. The staff training curriculum she developed for Nar delves deep into the endocannabinoid system, cannabinoid science and pharmacognosy, device information, current legislative issues surrounding cannabis, product information, and more. “The goal is to arm the staff with as much knowledge as possible to give the patients the best and most accurate information possible, while maintaining phenomenal customer service,” Mary explained.
Discounts & Patient Education Vendor Days
Veterans, those who qualify as indigent, and industry all will receive 30 percent discounts daily. Additionally, says Brady, “We are starting to plan outpatient education days here. And with each patient education day they will be able to have a sale on those certain products. We’re seeing that and most sales are going up from 20 to around 25 to 30 percent. Patients can not only learn about the information of the product they’re getting, but also get a good deal on it for that same day.”
Patients can learn about Vendor Days, discounts and place online orders at https://www.narreserve.com/
Patient Education Day (July 18th) & Canna Career Fair and Mix & Mingle Sponsorship
Patients are encouraged to stop by July 18th, 12-5 p.m. to meet MedicateOH and Midwest CannaWomen and learn about their events and advocacy work, including the Canna Career Fair and Mix & Mingle on July 19th.
Coming to the Canna Career Fair and Mix & Mingle on July 19th? Nar Reserve is just around the corner and invites medical marijuana patients to stop in before the event.