Meet Andrew: Andrew is the Owner at Pharmacanna in Midwest City, OK.
Born and raised in Midwest City, Oklahoma. Andrew attended Midwest City High School, Rose State College, and UCO. Andrew is a former teacher and football coach for Mid-Del Public Schools. A former federal employee who spent time with AT&T for over five years, Andrew also worked in private entertainment, selling event tickets and coordinating private events. Andrew is a Vietnamese-American whose father escaped the fall of Saigon.
What is the most important aspect of a dispensary?
There are levels in the retail game. First, of course, we want to make sure that the number one thing we are aware of is compliance. In this industry, you hear that compliance is critical, the number one aspect in all operations. Licensing, permit certifications, inspections are all part of our business, and we welcome it and want to make sure that if there is anything we can do even better or easier than we want to know. It makes us all better.
How did you get in to the cannabis industry?
It’s funny because I use to be a teacher and a coach in Oklahoma, then went and worked in telecommunications, and that seemed like it was my passion for a long time, but business runs in my family. My Father, Uncle, and Auntie have been a significant influence in what I do today. From my pops being extras in martial arts movies like Big Trouble in Little China and how he used to own his own martial arts studio in Midwest City and my Aunt and Uncle who have created a successful pharmacy and CBD Business across the nation, I see their hard work and results, and it makes me hungrier every day. So getting into the industry seemed organic for me.
Do you offer consultation to your patients?
We go the extra mile for all of our patients. You ask them. When patients walk into PharmaCanna, we want them to know that they are welcomed and safe, and they can trust our staff to provide them not only the best products MADE IN OKLAHOMA but also create an everlasting experience for ALL of their needs. The future patient does not have a medical card? At PharmaCanna, it isn’t a simple, “Sorry, we can not sell to you”….it is more than that. They are going the extra mile and getting the card process started for that patient(s). Patients can expect us to help them with all of their medical cannabis needs.
What are the characteristics of Indicas and Sativas?
We can talk about the differences in Indica and Sativa all we want. Indicas help patients with insomnia, hunger, or anxiety, while Sativa helps patients focus, motivation, and more. We tend to emphasize cannabinoid and terpene profiles and educate patients on different terpenes and how terpenes can provide health benefits for the patients and expand that education, so the patient understands they are not just looking for high THC percentages. On cannabinoids, it is educating patients on CBN or CBG AND having those success stories on how CBG has helped in the growth of hair and original hair color.. it blew even my mind. Our COA Book is an open book for all of our patients.
Tell me a story about a strain you love.
I used to favor heavy with Durban Poison. This was the strain that kept me motivated and focused on things I needed to get done. However, Green Crack from Cannagrow, OK, and Braincake from Big Dream Cannabis, OK, are currently my top two favorite strains right now. Top-Notch products for me personally.
How do you help medical patients select the product that’s right for them?
Not only are we educating patients, but patients are also educating us about their needs. Our staff makes sure we are communicating accordingly to find the correct products for the correct medical need. Are you a first-time user? Would you instead exhale or digest? Etc.
What’s appealing to you about the marijuana industry?
The opportunity for growth. Yes, many people will say that the Oklahoma market is the Wild West, and in some aspects, it is. However, the market is correcting itself slowly, and as cannabis leaders and lobbyist continue their hard work with our state government, I do believe, through all the noise, common ground will be found, and this program in Oklahoma will turn out to be the example on what you should not do and what you should do. The process has been long and tiring for us, but patience is a virtue. We have to stick together and have faith.
Do you feel there are too many regulations regarding dispensaries?
I am still researching and understanding all rules and regulations for the state, and we are entering year four of this program if that answers your question. It isn’t that there are too many regulations. The problem is that rules are changing, and regulations are updating; it seems like it is every day. We all need consistency.
What do you think is the hardest part about being a budtender?
They are taking care of the patients. We have almost four hundred thousand patients in our state! Understanding what they need, why they need it, and when they need it in a timely manner is pivotal in retaining patients for our cannabis clinic and overall business.
If you could change one thing about your dispensary, what would it be?
Not to brag but I love building and staff. I would not change anything other than having a few more stores!
What’s something cool you learned recently about the marijuana industry?
There are GREAT PEOPLE in this industry. With a little trust and patience, you can find the diamonds in the rough. This isn’t a fake until you make it industry, and people need to understand that. This business is serious. This is medicine. This isn’t a playground. Do it right, do it light. Do it wrong, do it long.
Tell me a success story you had with one of your medical cannabis patients.
Simply put we have had multiple patients beat cancer. Can not be more successful than that. Living the human experience is a must and cannabis allows that! It gives people their life back. Control.
Tell us about Pharmacanna and its core Mission?
To serve all walks of life. Creating a pharmacy grade-based product that will help you live a better life by feeling the difference every day.
What patient advocacy services do you offer?
We have worked with state lobbyist for the last two years, and we offer coffee and meets with our lobbyist once or twice a week. This helps our patients stay up to date with what is going on. We also are part of a foundation called NextGen Under 30. Founded by Don Swift, former Glamour Shots Owner, the foundation is based in Oklahoma and acknowledges the hard work that young people have put into our state in all respected fields in what they do. Keeping them here in our state to move forward for a better tomorrow. Don and I are excited to have expanded the foundation into other states next year. This program recognizes the hard work young people do in our state, and since its inception, over 38% of people ages 30 and under are now staying in our state versus going elsewhere. Opportunities in Oklahoma are Neverending.
What is a first visit like for a new medical patient? Walk us through your process.
The patient will check in at our desk with their license. Once they are verified, we allow them into the viewing room, and the budtender takes over from there. Here, the patient will then introduce their needs, and we go from there.
How does your consultant work with the patient to determine the appropriate medication if a patient is coming in with no knowledge?
Asking the right questions. Stay engaged with the customer and critical listening. We are here to take credit of the patient and all their needs.
What educational services does Pharmacanna offer?
Educational workshops will begin in Q2 of 2022. We will be partnering with top vendors to provide educational material in digital and print media for all patients.
What set’s Pharmacanna apart from other medical dispensaries?
Gosh, how to answer that. There seems to be a store on every corner. We are still here. Pushing through this Wild Wild West of Cannabis. I would say it is my employees’ work to create a memorable experience with every patient. Going above and beyond and not just trying to get them in and out. I truly believe our customer service experience is the best in the state and that is why patients ship with us.
How many locations does Pharmacanna have? What other states is Pharmacanna in?
Currently, PharmaCanna has one cannabis clinic in Oklahoma with the goal of expanding sooner than later. Overall PharmaCanna CBD Products are located in over 3,500 national locations in all 50 states. We work closely with some of the top health and wellness clinics and pharmacies across America.
Do you have a loyalty program?
Entering 2022, we will be starting our PC+ VIP Membership. This will allow us to honor our Day 1 customers with employee discounts when you spend $10,000 or more with us. We also will offer quarterly VIP Events and VIPs get first access to new products and more.
Our base loyalty system will serve to all other patients and receive 10 reward points for every $1 they spend. They can use it in $5, $15, $25, or $100 increments once they have reached that level and spend certain amounts to use those points. We also do monthly events and more.
Do you have any special offers for first time patients?
All new patients receive 15% off their total order, and we have a point system for patients who shop and return with us.
How often do you have specials?
We broadcast specials daily. We offer our deals via text message service, Weedmaps, and Google Search!
Do you offer discounts for Seniors, Veterans, disability?
Yes! 15% off for life, and of course, discount rates apply differently based on the daily deal, but yes we take care of our veterans, ADA accessibility, and more. Our clinic is for all walks of life