We talked to Dallas Harrington during a busy day at Sol Flower Tempe University. That’s nothing new for this floor manager, who has been part of overseeing a surge of new patients and customers in his five months on the job. Dallas is in his first job in the cannabis industry, but don’t be fooled - his passion for the product and the business is destined to help him reach the top. Learn more about this manager by day, music producer by night in our insightful discussion.
It sounds like a wild day over there. Where did all the people come from?
It’s the marketing mainly. Now people know that we’re over here in Tempe. Before it was just the neighborhood folks, but now people from all over are starting to roll in. It’s busy, but it’s good.
What’s your history with getting into the industry?
This is my first job in cannabis, but I’ve been eyeing the industry for a while. When I was in college my freshman and sophomore year I wrote a couple research papers and essays in my business class about cannabis. It started with me just looking into the field but the more I researched the more I realized, not only is this a product that people use medicinally or recreationally, but from a business standpoint I could tell it was about to blow up soon. So that’s when it kind of just clicked and I knew I was interested in it because doing those projects actually made me more interested in my schoolwork.
Are you more into the business side or the science aspect of cannabis?
A little bit of both. With the science part it’s more about knowing the plant for what it is, because if you know about it it’s a lot easier to tell people about it. With new patrons the biggest thing is figuring out what they know about cannabis. If they’ve never tried it I like to find out the reason why - do they not like the smoke or the smell? Do they not like to handle it? Or do they just not know their options? The biggest thing is figuring out what everyone needs first.
What’s your personal managerial style?
Keeping things productive. Making sure everyone is doing something, whether it’s stocking shelves, wiping down a counter or picking up a piece of trash right in front of them. My purpose and my goal everyday I’m here is to make sure everything is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. It’s my job to put people in the best position to win.
Where do you see the industry heading, and what will Sol Flower’s role be?
The industry as a whole is leaning more towards non traditional avenues. We might start seeing different things like small cannabis products in a CVS, or smaller neighborhood Sol Flowers like we have neighborhood Walmarts. Personally, I want to be at the forefront of making connections and having influence before the market really takes off, so Sol Flower can be the premium company that furthers the cause. We want to be number one in the game.
What’s been the best part of the cannabis surge into the mainstream?
My family all thought I was joking or lying when I first told them i was going to work in the cannabis industry. But now when I see them I explain to them what’s going on at my job and in the industry, and they understand the procedures and policies and how the product can help. Fear is just things we don’t understand. So when I break it down to people what the job actually is, the more they’re open to it. I’m having to do this more and more actually, because more people are asking questions about my job when they find out, since they feel more comfortable with the topic.
What are some of the biggest misconceptions you still hear?
“You guys can smoke in the dispensary?” I get that all the time. I also get a lot of people thinking it’s just flower here, and they don’t understand there are different products like edibles, topicals and things like that. I actually find that I'm recommending edibles more than ever. It’s a lot easier to get people to eat something they would on a normal basis vs. trying something new like smoking if they’re not familiar or comfortable with it.
Any hobbies or interests that get a boost with cannabis?
The one thing that gets enhanced is my productivity. I feel like it’s a waste if I medicate and don’t get anything done. I love to pair cannabis with making instrumental music for other artists most.
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