At Simplifya, we appreciate all the hard work people put into making the cannabis industry grow. Recently, we reached out to a few of our clients to get to know them and their experience in the cannabis space a little better. First up, we spoke to Linsday Gardner, Director of Licensing and Compliance for Silver Stem, a vertically integrated multi-state operator with seven recreational and medical dispensaries in Colorado, as well as related cultivation facilities, and a retail dispensary in Portland, Oregon.
We asked Lindsay about her personal experience in the cannabis industry and what kind of advice she’d give to someone who is looking to get into the industry. Silver Stem Fine Cannabis was one of the first dispensaries to open in Colorado in 2008 and is also one of Simplifya’s first, and longest-standing clients, so who better to start off this interview series with?
What’s your company name?
Silver Stem Fine Cannabis
What’s your relationship with cannabis?
I use cannabis medicinally and “recreationally” and have been for the past decade. My relationship with cannabis is very special to me because it helps me manage my anxiety and depression. My fiancé and I are even having a “bud bar” at our wedding to celebrate our marriage.
How long have you been working in the cannabis industry?
I have been in the cannabis industry for more than two years now, after earning my Masters in Legal Studies with a focus in Cannabis Law from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. After I graduated, I actually worked at Simplifya for a bit before becoming the Director of Licensing & Compliance for Silver Stem Fine Cannabis.
What’s your favorite cannabis product?
My favorite cannabis product is probably the AiroPro vaporizer line. I think their cartridges have the best flavors and I really like the design of the battery with the haptic response.
Has your perception of cannabis changed over the past 10 years?
My perspective has changed from “cannabis will never be legalized” while living in Texas, to “wow, this is actually becoming a professional industry!” after I moved to Colorado and started getting into the licensed industry here. It’s amazing to be a part of this quickly growing, ever-evolving industry. My job is never boring.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to go into the cannabis industry?
Go get an education! For a long-term career or any corporate position, the more you can back up your experience with education, the better. Law is good for compliance, science degrees are good for cultivation and production, and you can never go wrong with business or marketing if you want to work in operations, sales, or advertising and marketing.
What do you and your team do to stay on top of compliance?
We do many different things, like tracking state and local jurisdictions’ regulatory schemes, subscribing to email updates from all the government agencies that regulate us, to even just reading the news. We attend MED, CDPHE, and local agency’s meetings and rulemaking sessions to stay one step ahead of any upcoming changes. We also use Simplifya to audit each of our locations about every six weeks.
What do you hope your company will achieve in 2020?
I hope to see Silver Stem continue to grow. Last year I got to help open two new stores, and this year we are working on some major remodels, as well as a new medical side and grow at an existing location. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
What do you hope to achieve in your personal life in 2020?
My focus in my personal life right now is planning our cannabis-friendly wedding and honeymoon! We are going on a Pacific Coast cruise up the coast of California to Canada, and every city we stop in will have legal cannabis dispensaries, so I can’t wait to see what other legal cannabis markets have to offer.
What’s your favorite thing about Simplifya?
My favorite thing about Simplifya is the team behind it. They are so helpful and always willing to work with you to find a solution. They actively take feedback and have even developed new features just based on us and other clients asking for them!