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Interview: RISE Dispensaries’ Nevada General ManagerDecember 8, 2017
Blackbird interviewed Tyler Brennan, RISE Dispensaries' Nevada General Manager. Tyler is a workaholic with a passion for ensuring access and affordability to medical marijuana for our state's patients. Tyler told us what they're all about at RISE Dispensary, favorite products, big plans for 2018 and more.
JORDYN: Can you tell me more about Rise as a whole (locations, big pictures goals, core values and beliefs)?
TYLER: Our parent company is GTI, which is a vertically integrated multi-state operator. We currently have licenses and operations in Illinois, Nevada, Massachusettes, Pennsylvania and Maryland. We are an extremely hard working, passionate team, and we all truly believe in what we are doing. Two words that we live by are: inspire and impact. As a company, we have a major problem with the disproportionately unjust effects of the war on drugs on people of color.
JORDYN: What is your role with Rise? Tell me a little bit about how you came to be apart of the Rise team.
TYLER: I am the General Manager in Nevada, which means, I manage both the Carson City location as well as the Spanish Springs location. I came here from Denver Relief in Downtown Denver and linked up with a great set of owners with GTI.
JORDYN: What's a recent struggle you've had to overcome as a company?
TYLER: At this time, there is no recreational use in Carson or Spanish Springs, which unfortunately is making our patient count decline, and as a result there is a drop in sales. We are currently struggling with pricing our product in the secondary market. It’s an internal battle that we are fighting, because we hate having to increase cost on our patients.
JORDYN: Any recent company "wins" worth noting?
TYLER: Definitely. Opening our 2nd location out in Spanish Springs was huge for us. This was a two year long process that we have been working on, so it was a long time coming. We are also the first facility in the state integrated with METRC.
JORDYN: Rise is currently only serving medicinal consumers. Do you see recreational cannabis coming to Rise anytime soon?
TYLER: Yes, actually, January 1st 2018 we will begin recreational sales in Carson City. We are waiting on another early start window with the state to apply for recreational sales in Spanish Springs.
JORDYN: What has been the most exciting experience you've had working in the cannabis industry?
TYLER:Helping people on a daily basis get away from pain management and opiates. We have been able to help so many patients in Carson City, especially the elderly and Veteran patients. We have actually donated over $18,000 to the Veterans Resource Center and are continuously giving back to the community and our neighbors. It’s been awesome to see how accepted that we have been by the locals. We as a company, are very thankful for that.
JORDYN: What sets Rise apart from the other dispensaries? Do you have any weekly specials you would like the public to know about?
TYLER: We definitely pride ourselves in education and assortment. Our hiring process is extensive and very involved to ensure our team members have the best customer service in the state. We carry more products than anyone else as well, our menu is so extensive, and with the wide variety we can ensure the desired use for each individual patient. We offer many daily deals but love to run aggressive weekend specials.
JORDYN: How would you defend cannabis to persons cautious about its newfound legality and recreational use?
TYLER: We operate at the highest levels of compliance and ensure we educate our customers about proper storage and responsibilities that come with legalization. Everything in the state is lab tested to ensure quality and safety. Cannabis is a safe alternative to opiates and other pharmaceuticals and over time will be accepted more and more.
JORDYN: In this series, we will be asking dispensaries to pick their favorite product of the week. What's Rise's?
TYLER: Cannavative RSO
JORDYN: Why did you choose this product?
TYLER: Best treatment for cancer patients, seizures and general pain.
JORDYN: Why do you love it?
TYLER: Cannavative's RSO is a universal product for many ailments. There is a higher amount of CBD, which we love.
JORDYN: What are the specific benefits from this product?
TYLER: Pain relief, sleep aid, anti seizure and inflammation.