Welcome to the second issue of Cannabis Dispensary magazine! I hope you enjoyed the November debut of the only magazine dedicated exclusively to medical and recreational cannabis dispensaries, and are looking forward to many more. We have so much to talk about.

Photo by Joe Skodzinski

As has been the case since the day I started working to launch Cannabis Business Times (Cannabis Dispensary’s sister brand/publication that serves cannabis cultivators) in 2014, my head is swimming with thoughts about the dynamics of this evolving industry. I've monitored legalization efforts (some successfully, others not so ideally), ever-changing regulations, moratoriums, 280E issues, exorbitant cannabis taxes, and significant offshore investments into Canadian cannabis businesses (e.g., Aurora). I've seen protections for cannabis businesses put in place ... and then repealed. I could go on and on.

If my head is spinning, I can only imagine what must be weighing on your minds. For starters, we’ve heard from many dispensary owners that hiring and managing staff is among the biggest challenges they face. So, in this issue, we delve into how to create an effective organizational chart and steps you can take to prevent and deal with sexual harassment in the workplace. The latter, while increasingly drawing global attention, is still a difficult subject to approach, but it is a conversation that needs to happen. A harassment or hostile work environment (HWE) lawsuit could threaten to financially wound or kill your business, but, more importantly, it is the responsibility of every dispensary owner and senior staff member to ensure a safe and comfortable workplace for their employees.

Speaking of safety, that’s another issue that many cannabis companies struggle with. After years of mistrust in any kind of law enforcement or authority, cannabis business owners often find themselves in a Goldilocks-like situation: Some businesses’ security is too overbearing, some businesses’ security is too light, and very few have it just right. Especially when many consumers are still getting acclimated to shopping for cannabis, scary or overbearing is not what you should be going for. Haven’t we all been in retail stores where a security guard lingers a bit too closely as you browse, and experienced the discomfort (and desire to leave the store ASAP) it causes? Hopefully the advice in our security feature will help you find this balance.

This is not an easy industry. Many land mines and challenges lurk at every turn. But it’s an industry many of us pursued out of passion. Passion, however, can only get you so far. Sharing information with each other (as Simply Pure’s Wanda James stresses in this issue’s cover story) can help further your success. And this magazine was created to help get you the rest of the way.

Noelle Skodzinski, Editorial Director | nskodzinski@gie.net