If you’re a medical marijuana patient in Ohio, you may have purchased your products at one of the 5 Ohio Verdant Creations locations in the state. Beginning in 2019, Verdant opened locations in Columbus, Cincinnati, Chillicothe, Newark and Marion. Then, in February 2021, Verdant sold four of their five stores to Cresco Labs. Those stores will now be rebranded as Sunnyside dispensary. The Columbus location remains owned by Verdant and will retain the Verdant Creations name.
We recently spoke with Candace Amrich, Dispensary Technician at Verdant Creations Columbus to learn a little more about the newly-independent dispensary, which will continue to serve central Ohio patients. Here’s what she had to say:
MedicateOH: Describe how a new medical marijuana patient registers with Verdant? Will they need to wait in a line or fill out paperwork?
A new patient has to come inside and walk up to the window. When they hand their Medical Marijuana card and driver’s license to the front desk personnel, they will have to wait a few minutes to get checked in and have a seat until your name is called to go back for your consultation with a Patient Care Specialist.
MedicateOH: Walk us through counseling a new patient.
I am a Patient Care Specialist (PCS) and we are seated at a desk with menus for discussion with the patient. I use a surface computer to pull up OARRS and LeafLogix so I can add items to their cart and explain the menu items and their effects and properties. I explain each method of medication to the new patient.
It is also a mini therapy session! People have to tell me about their pains and ailments and show us their doctor recommendations, so we can find what will be best to try on their first visit.
MedicateOH: What changes has the dispensary made to protect patients from COVID-19?
Verdant has split the employees into teams. Team A and team B. So if anyone from one team was to contract Covid, everyone would not be exposed.
We clean and disinfect tables and doorknobs in rotation all day. We wear masks and sometimes gloves. We require patients to wear a mask and have stickers on the floor for social distancing. We do not let in more than 10 in the lobby and 10 in the back at one time. We have alcohol wipes and hand sanitizer for patients on every table.
And bathrooms stay stocked with soap and sanitizer. We don’t keep menus on the floor for patients to reuse. They touch it, they have to take it or we throw it away.
Yes we do! We offer curbside because there are so many patients who are not fully mobile. It is hard for them to drive and to get in and out of the car. So we honor that and try our best to accommodate them. Curbside is NOT for people who are able to get up and come in, but just don’t feel like it. Walking is good for you if you are physically able!
MedicateOH: What does Verdant Columbus do to maintain an adequate selection of strains and products for patients?
We maintain great relationships with the processors and cultivators in Ohio! Our patients drive from hours away to come in for our sale days!
We are the busiest dispensary in Columbus and it is hard to keep certain items in during sale weeks for sure! But we get shipments VERY frequently.
MedicateOH: What do you do to counsel a patient when their normal product isn’t available?
It is hard when this happens but we manage. I search for their history and need to find out the properties of what they were using. Then I have to scan our entire menu for the closest thing that we have.
I also tell patients about Columbus’ other dispensaries they can visit! Because some people drive very far and I don’t mind spending some of my time checking other dispensary menus to help them. I do all I can to assure they walk out as satisfied as possible.
MedicateOH: What does Verdant do to accommodate patients with disabilities?
We do curbside to accommodate those who can not get out of the car. They send an email or call ahead to say they need a PCS to come to the car. I personally have physically held a blind man’s arm and walked him to his car. We have a wheelchair should a patient need to use it. We pay close attention to holding doors and providing shorter chairs for patients who cannot climb into a tall chair.
MedicateOH: Does Verdant give discounts for those with indigent or veteran status on their medical marijuana card? What is that percentage currently? Can patients with multiple statuses stack discounts?
Yes we do! We have the best veteran and indigent discount in the city! It is 30%. We know other dispensaries give 20-25% off for veterans and indigent status patients. But we do not stack discounts. If there was a sale day, you would get veteran price. You will get 30% off anytime you shop at Verdant!
MedicateOH: What would you say to a patient who is running low on their allotted days?
I tell them how many they have when they sit down to consult. That way they know where they’re starting if they don’t. Most people keep track of their days. There are people who run out. It breaks my heart.
MedicateOH: What does your dispensary do to give back to the community you serve?
The employees at Verdant go above and beyond for the patients by printing and laminating medical marijuana cards so they don’t have to use an image of it on their phones. We help folks with their OARRS and update their phone numbers when the systems are having trouble. I wish there was more we were allowed to do!
MedicateOH: Do you offer any ongoing public education programs for your patients to learn more about their medicines? How do patients find those?
There is an online 101 Cannabis class patients can find by coming into Verdant and scanning the QR code hung all around the dispensary. Austin Hoover is a patient and an employee who teaches these classes.
MedicateOH: Are any of your employees also patients?
Almost all of us here at Verdant are patients!
MedicateOH: What does Verdant do that keeps patients coming back?
We have a HUGE responsibility as Verdant employees, being the only dispensary that sits down with patients
MedicateOH: Any sales either right now or regular weekly/monthly sales?
We have sales every week! Almost everyday! We have the most sales and the best sales in Columbus. And the sale right now is 20% off of all flower and 30% off all Buckeye Relief products.
MedicateOH: What could Ohio do to improve the medical marijuana program that could benefit patients the most?
Ohio could create a tier system to the 45 day system we currently have. Some get 25, some 45 and some 75. Everyday I see patients in pain and struggling to pay these expensive prices and having to ration and strategize their days so they don’t run out.
My heart breaks for them daily. I sit and help a sweet old man choose items that will make his last 5 days stretch to his next refill date, 25 days away!!! What do they expect these people to do when they run out of days? They are in pain. People with PTSD, Fibromyalgia, Cancer, Epilepsy, and Crohn’s disease. They need constant microdosing of cannabis and these days do not support them. There are people who never come close to running out and that’s awesome. But why make the people who need more than others suffer?
MedicateOH: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is educating patients. Ohio has such a lack of education surrounding cannabis and there is still a huge stigma here around cannabis as well. So when I can share with patients the reason cannabis became illegal was political–not because it was hurting people.
When patients who came in afraid and confused, leave feeling supported and confident, then I am my most content. Helping others into their healing journey is a beautiful thing. When my patients come back and ask for me and tell me what they got last time helped them immensely, all I can do is thank them!
Check out our other dispensary overview articles: Ohio Cannabis Company, Bloom Medicinals, and Pure Ohio Wellness. To learn more about getting your medical marijuana card in Ohio, reach out to us at medicateOH@gmail.com today.
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