Rocky Mountain Cannabis – RACC April 2023 Member of the Month
RACC interviewed Jola Rutherford, the General Manager of RMC – Ridgway. Jola has been in the cannabis industry for over 12 years, close to the start of the legalization of cannabis in Colorado.
How is RMC helping break down the common stigma associated with cannabis?
It has been over a decade since the legalization and there is still a stigma associated with cannabis that RMC is trying to help break down. It may be a recreational drug, however many of our patrons come to the dispensary to purchase the cannabis for medical benefits. We are always pursuing creative, yet appropriate ways to educate the public about cannabis and how to recreate responsibly.
What separates RMC from other cannabis dispensaries?
Our nine locations in Colorado are Deli style flower, which allows our customers to smell the cannabis flower, view it under a microscope, and feel the density of it with tongs. Transparency is important to RMC, so allowing our customers to have a hands-on approach with selecting their flower helps us also develop a trusting relationship with them. A lot of other dispensaries sell their flower pre-packaged meaning customers can’t see or smell it prior to purchasing.
How does the Ridgway location do compared to the other locations?
Geographically, we are in the “Gateway of the San Juans”, which gives us a lot of tourists coming and going to Red Mountain Pass or to Telluride. We also feel like the Ridgway community is full of open-minded people and are very easy to talk to, which allows us to develop close-knitted relationships with community members.
How do you manage your team?
We first strive on an upfront, clear communication method with our staff members, by using a direct message channel. If a patron comes in and asks for a product that we do not currently have, we will submit a product request within the channel and will have our team members research the product and go straight to the source. We also have a weekly meeting with the team to touch base and reevaluate how the previous week went. At RMC, communication is key to success.
What are your operations like when you receive a product?
When we receive products with a manifested invoice, our lead team members will cross-reference and double check the products before entering them into the state system which updates the store’s inventory. Before a cannabis flower product is approved, we will quality check it and look for any discrepancies and will communicate the result with our team members. From there, if the product is approved, we will sticker, label and tag the product. With the regulations and laws enacted by Colorado, we always follow protocol and thoroughly check our products before it goes to the customer.
What is your involvement with the community?
Due to advertising laws, we can only advertise to the 21 and older audience, so we do our best to be involved in the community appropriately. For the past couple years, we’ve had a booth at the Skijoring event to hand out “swag” and get to know the community better. We’ve also sponsored the Ridgway River Festival and Music in the Park (Ridgway and Ouray) and will continue to do so. We’ve also donated to Ouray County Pride and look forward to participating in their 3rd fundraiser this year.