Patients Drive From All Over State For Hometown-feel, Service, Lower Prices than Competition
Ohio Cannabis Company was just the ninth medical marijuana dispensary to open in the state of Ohio when they welcomed patients beginning in March 2019. Located about an hour’s drive northeast of Columbus, the Coshocton dispensary was the first to extend patient access outside the state’s urban centers.
OCC serves serve a three-county region, including Coshocton, Muskingum and Morgan. But patients drive in from other parts of Ohio just for OCC’s service, amazing prices, and friendly staff, according to their reviews on Weedmaps.
Brian Wingfield of Columbus and Cindy Bradford of Abbott Infusion Care Ohio (a home infusion therapy pharmacy in Coshocton) applied for and earned the license from the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Board to build a medical marijuana dispensary in the state.
A Comfortable Feel
They chose to locate their dispensary in Coshocton on County Road 621 alongside Fortune’s Boot Shop and Agents Realty and Auction Services. From the beginning, their aim was to give patients an elevated experience.
“When we chose the name Ohio Cannabis Clinic, we wanted it to be more of a professional place,” Wingfield told the Coshocton news in the months leading up to their opening almost exactly two years ago. “I want the feel of the business to be like a nice doctor’s office or nice pharmacy. I want it to be somewhere when you walk in, you’re comfortable going into,” he said.
As the dispensary’s co-owner, Wingfield lives over an hour away but happily makes the drive so that he can set the tone for his patients. “When you get there and you see the people that are helping you share the stories, and how it’s changing them, it makes the job really rewarding to help these people.”
The Benefit of Legal Cannabis
While it’s been over two years since doctors began issuing recommendations for marijuana to patients through the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (OMMCP), many patients who use marijuana still cite cost as one of the their biggest hurdles to purchasing from a legal dispensary. We asked Wingfield why patients come back to Ohio Cannabis Company, especially as opposed to purchasing their marijuana illegally.
“I think that patients come back time and time again for the relative safety of getting it from a dispensary versus getting it from a dealer on the street, as well as the consistency,” Wingfield said. “While it’s still a little difficult in Ohio because supply isn’t quite there yet, you can typically go back and get the same dose at the dispensary of a similar product time and time again if it’s working for you. On the street you don’t know whether you’re getting a sativa or an indica, whether it has certain terpenes, or what kind of pesticides are used,” he explained.
Wingfield underscored that this is why he stresses the importance of taking time with patients to assure they are getting proper counseling. “Because patients cannot utilize their health insurance to purchase their cannabis, it’s important to make sure patients aren’t buying products that will be ineffective. This is all 100 percent paid for by patients,” he said. “So we really talk about finding that lowest effective dose that allows you to be yourself.”
Patients Rave About OCC’s Customer Service
Those with indigent status receive 10 percent off their cannabis at Ohio Cannabis Company and veterans get 15 percent off. Wingfield noted he has tried to keep prices as low as possible across the board for all patients: “Week in, week out, we try to negotiate prices. You know, because we do understand that we’re sitting there talking to patients and we know what they’re spending on their medicine.”
A quick glance of the public reviews on this small Ohio-grown dispensary show that patients are appreciative of the “mom and pop” vibe that they get from their visits.
A few comments that stood out:
“Amazing experiences so far. Friendly, not pushy, very detailed, and it feels like you have a personal consultation every time with your own personal associate. I would highly recommend this place for your first legal purchasing experience.” -Jordan G.
“Favorite location for sure!! Super friendly staff and loads of selection too!!” -Natasha O.
“Great selection and service. My preferred dispensary!” – Jonathan R.
“The employees are wonderful. They take their time and actually listen to you. And they have the best bulk selection EVER!!!” – Dylan H.
OCC takes pride in their ability to see a patient and process their order very quickly. But they also stress that all patients have the opportunity to spend as much time as they need and have all of their questions answered.
Visual Checks Are a Patient Perk
Smells jars are a thing of the past (temporarily) due to COVID-19, but Wingfield said that Ohio Cannabis Company remains committed to allowing patients to at least visually inspect the packages before completing their purchase.
Many Ohio cultivators have adopted clear containers for this purpose. “If you see something we can bring it up to the counter and show you what it is that if the package is a light-resistant translucent, we can show it to you. We try to spend time and explain how things work. I’m sure it’s a lot of the same things that everybody else does. But we just try to give the best customer service.”
Employees are key
Wingfield noted the dispensary altered their schedules amidst COVID-19. They split shifts so that if one dispensary worker got sick, the other team members could still keep the dispensary open. “We don’t want to have the option of people not being able to get their medicine because we’re not open.”
The employees are really the reason that patients love OCC, Wingfield said. “They take pride in trying to be the best dispensary in the state.”
While Wingfield was quick to praise his whole team, he mentioned one member in particular. Bill Kobel is a co-owner of the business with Wingfield and Bradford. He’s a former county lieutenant Sheriff who retired in 2012 after 30 years. He now serves as the dispensary’s security guard and enjoys his new role guarding cannabis. “He keeps track of everything that’s going on in the building. He’s nice. Super friendly. He remembers people’s names,” Wingfield said.
Wingfield also said partner Cindy Bradford is integral to keeping patients happy and continually coming back to OCC. “She remembers so many people’s cheat sheet. So many of the patients by name she remembers them, and up front, like she’s the receptionist of the company.”
Chances of expansion?
Ohio dispensaries are restricted to building facilities in particular zones that are a certain distance away from schools along with a variety of other qualifications. This has made it difficult for some dispensaries to establish their location. OCC was able to quickly identify and apply for approval for their Coshocton lfacility. “We just found a spot that was outside of town that the landlord said yes we like that. And so we set up shop.”
When asked if OCC would like to expand at all, Wingfield explained, “If someday that the Board of Pharmacy does ask for a dispensary license, I think that would most definitely put in for a second license. The patients really love to drive from all over the state. So having another location where we can save people driving all that way would be awesome. Maybe cut down on some of their drive time.”
Wingfield reflects on nearly two years at OCC, summing up what’s so special about their Coshocton dispensary. “It’s a great industry and the people in this industry are so nice. They’re so helpful. That is something else that just amazes me still is that these people are willing to help out and chip in.”
Learn more about Ohio Cannabis Company, the store’s hours, location, and menu:
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.
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