This article was originally posted on Item9Labs.com
Welcome to the latest in our series highlighting our area’s best and brightest budtenders and cannabis connoisseurs. In this edition, we sat down with Jaimie McKenna, Local Joint‘s Marketing Manager to chat about community, the growth of the industry, and what it means to make people part of the family. Read on for more!
Breaking into the Cannabis Industry
For Jaimie McKenna, working in cannabis wasn’t something she always knew she wanted to do. After working as a waitress for 10 years starting in college, Jaimie was eager for something new. She applied for a receptionist gig at what was then called PARC Dispensary and in three short years, moved up to Marketing Manager for what is now the beloved dispensary Local Joint.
Her experience made the customer service part of the job simple and learning about the plant was on-the-job training. Her time at Local Joint has been about way more than cannabis, though.
“My favorite thing about working at Local Joint is the sense of community that we have built,” Jaimie says. “We want to gain a following—we don’t want to bring in as many people possible to ‘turn and burn’—we want people for life.”
That kinship extends to everyone in the dispensary. “We are very close with all of our patients as we are with our employees. We are a tight-knit group,” Jaimie says. “I think that makes us a more welcoming dispensary to patients and we’re hoping to extend that to our recreational patients as well.”
Supporting the Locals
She points to the somewhat recent changes to their entrance, which was previously an open area with fake grass, as proof Local Joint is looking to take care of those they serve with comfortable benches and even food.
COVID regulations and wait times propelled the changes, but upgrading the waiting area was always the plan.“ In the summertime heat we needed a roof, fans, and to provide shade for our patients,” Jaimie adds, going on to say that having Willie’s Tacos in the parking lot has been well received. “It’s a friendship partnership and it was just something we wanted to do for our patients as well. You make a purchase, you get a free taco.”
Besides offering tacos and comfortable outside areas, Jaimie is also proud that Local Joint goes far beyond that for those in need. They raised over $10k last October to fund alternative care options for Logan Williams, a young patient using cannabis to deal with autism-related issues. “He needs extra care to help with his issues, so we were able to pull that together – I feel like that was a great success,” Jaimie says.
Her biggest hope for the industry is more openness and camaraderie inside of it. “I just wish that there was a little bit less judgment because we’re trying to eliminate the myths of cannabis. We want to work and continue to do that together. This is a group effort,” she says.
For personal use, Jaimie has found great success with RSO for sleep and pain issues and counts Local Joint’s house strain Sour Tangie as among her favorites.
What the World Needs Now…
Thanks to everyone at Local Joint, especially Jaimie, for sharing their passion for community, medicine, and healing. Especially in the times of COVID, taking care of each other is more important than ever. After all, wellbeing is about more than just us – at Item 9 Labs, we believe that we thrive when our patients do. Seeing the actions Jaimie and her colleagues at Local Joint take to create an environment of safety and wellness is inspiring.
We love being connected to such passionate folks who make good times and good health a priority for themselves and others. We believe this is what makes our community a sweeter place, all around.