As of this writing, that state of Ohio has given out 57 dispensary licenses, with 52 of those in operation so far. Throughout the winter, MedicateOH (with the support of DOC MJ) will feature each of these dispensaries so that the state’s nearly 200,000 medical marijuana patients can get familiar with the places where they will buy their cannabis medicine.
Pure Ohio Wellness not only operates 2 Ohio medical marijuana dispensaries, but also holds processing and cultivation licenses as well. DOCMJ recently spoke with Tracey McMillin, who serves as Pure Ohio Wellness’s Chief Operating Officer. We asked her about what sets their company apart from the rest, and it was definitely not what we expected!
Influenced by the owner, Pure Ohio Wellness London is the first ever motorsport racing-themed dispensary.
“We are locally owned – an Ohio based company founded by professional motorcycle racer, Larry Pegram,” McMillin told us. “We consist of a level 1 cultivation facility, 2 dispensaries and a processing facility. Our cultivation facility houses our corporate office and is located in Mad River Township right outside of Springfield.”
Main Mission is Patients
While motorcycle enthusiasts are sure to enjoy the dispensary’s theme, the company is firstly patient-focused. Their main mission is getting marijuana medicine to Ohioans who need it. “Our goal is to provide a good variety and keep the prices as low as we can,” McMillin said. Pure Ohio and Locally Grown flower are by far the dispensary’s biggest sellers, she said.
McMillin also noted that controlling more of the process through growing, processing, and delivering to dispensaries helps their overall cost and quality of what the patient receives. “We are fortunate to have the cultivation as it allows us the luxury of keeping our prices low and our quality high,” she said. “We also try to negotiate lower prices with our vendors and then pass those savings along to our patients.”
Management team ensuring smooth operations and patient flow
Pure Ohio Wellness’s store management team boasts some impressive backgrounds–a big benefit to patients. Two Designated Representatives are pharmacists. McMillin noted: “Scott in Dayton and Eric in London. Our general manager, Eric is also a pharmacist. We have a manager at each location. Amy – also a pharmacist – manages our Dayton location and Emily manages our London location. We also have several assistant managers at each location to ensure smooth operations with curbside and managing the flow,” McMillin explained.
On an average day, the Dayton dispensary stays busy while London–which has only been open a few months–isn’t quite so busy yet. However, even as busy as the dispensary gets in Dayton, McMillin said they still strive to be able to service every patient within 20 minutes.
“One of the complaints from the patients is that since Covid 19 has changed the way that every business operates, it takes too long to get through to get their medication, so we have made changes to try and accommodate everyone in a timely fashion,” McMillin said. “It has been challenging to try and get to this point, but we have increased staff and changed the flow to try and accomplish this with every patient.”
Also new since COVID, dispensaries were permitted by the state to offer a curbside service whereby a patient is brought their medicine while waiting in their car in the parking lot. Pure Ohio Wellness offers curbside service at both locations. McMillin said they are constantly making changes to ensure that this is a smooth, quick process.“ We just added another terminal and employee to facilitate this is Dayton and will be adding another to allow us to service more patients with our curbside service as the need continues to grow.”
We asked McMillin whether patients have to wait in line outside the store or can they wait in their car until it’s their turn in line. Here’s what she said: “They can do either, they just need to let the security guard know if they wish to remain in their car. However, we are doing whatever we can to make waiting outside not only safe but warm and comfortable. We have benches and heaters outside both locations to keep our patients comfortable while they wait!”
Staff Sets Pure Ohio Wellness Apart
Beyond the whimsical motorcycle theme, we asked McMillin what sets Pure Ohio Wellness apart from the others: “Our staff- no question about it.” While the lower prices and the no wait times are big perks, McMillin said that their staff is the reason their patients keep coming back.
Pure Ohio Wellness’s management has enjoyed the opportunity to not only bring quality medicine to Ohioans, but also being able to help stimulate economically struggling Ohio towns. Owner Larry Pegram told Dayton’s WDTN news last year, “It’s exciting to be able to provide medicine to the people in the area but also provide jobs to the people in the area.”
McMillin reports that currently the company has close to 90 employees between all four locations. “We do our best to hire locally and with a special emphasis on hiring veterans,” she said.
“They are knowledgeable, kind and they go above and beyond every time. That is the one thing I hear the most when patients comment on our dispensaries-our staff absolutely is the best,” McMillin said.
Another important distinction that McMillin noted is that their staff are made up primarily of patients of the Ohio program which means they have a great working knowledge of the products. At each cash register, the employee that is working there has a sign that tells the patient what their favorite product is, so that is a personal way for them to share some of their preferences during each visit.
McMillin said Pure Ohio Wellness’s goal is to have every patient leave with a better understanding of the medicinal benefits of cannabis than they had when they came in. “We also strive to give them a great value for their money. Medicating with cannabis is expensive and we want them to feel like they received a good value for their money while still getting the medicine that they need.”
Flow Of Information Could Be Improved In Ohio Program
We asked McMillin about what changes the Ohio program could make to help patients better access their cannabis medicine. “I think that they are improving all the time, however the main thing I think would be helpful is to allow a steadier flow of information between the program and the dispensaries and the patients. We are so limited on what we are permitted to say and stay compliant that it severely restricts information for the patients. We could help more people if it were easier to get the information out to people who are not yet patients.”
While advertising restrictions limit the patient outreach dispensaries can do, Pure Ohio Wellness uses texting and social media to let patients know what sort of specials they have going on. “We do wish that we were able to advertise our locations so that it was even easier to let patients know where to find the best quality and lowest priced medication in Ohio,” McMillin said, but noted that both locations are conveniently located near I75 for Dayton and I70 for London.
Pure Ohio did have a Springfield dispensary as well, but that location is now closed. To learn more about Pure Ohio Wellness’s dispensaries in Dayton and London, visit their website. Each dispensary’s online menu is available there as well as some general information about how to get your card. For information about Pure Ohio Wellness’s current sales and promotions, join their Instagram page.
This article reprinted with the permission of DocMJ.
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