Sanctuary Spotlight: Marisa Orlandi
How did you break into the cannabis industry originally?
I got my first role as a budtender in the Colorado adult-use market in March of 2014, just a few weeks before the first-ever legal 4/20. I immediately knew that I was going to be a cannabis industry “lifer” and would never go back to traditional retail ever again. Looking back, what a long, strange trip it’s been!
Why did you move down to Florida?
I moved to Florida to pursue my dream of normalizing cannabis legalization from coast-to-coast, all while enjoying the Sunshine state’s beautiful weather, swaying palm trees and turquoise waters.
What were some key lessons learned from the Colorado market that you took with you?
The biggest lesson I learned working in the fast-paced, adult-use Colorado market is the importance of taking the extra few minutes to connect with and educate your patient or guest. Often, cannabis consumers are rushed through the dispensary experience and aren’t given a chance to get all the right information; I purposefully strive to challenge that.
Why did you join Sanctuary specifically?
The Florida market is overrun with corporate, big-box cannabis retailers, so I was excited to find a company that had more of the “home-grown” vibe that I am used to having grown up in Colorado. The entire Sanctuary family validated this choice right away by being some of the coolest and most caring people I’ve ever worked with.
What makes the Florida cannabis market unique, challenging, or exciting?
The Florida market is structured in a way that is often confusing to newbie MMJ card holders, which is why my team and I focus on education as the highlight of the patient experience. I feel the most excitement thinking about riding the wave of legalization for the second time in this tropical paradise.
Personally, how has working in cannabis molded you as a young adult? What are some lessons learned, M.O.s, highlights, etc. from your career so far?
Working in cannabis completely changed the entire course of my life and has really defined who I am for nearly a decade. I’ve met some of my closest friends in the industry, and it has given me the freedom to live and work in a way that feels authentic.
A well-run dispensary has always reminded me of your favorite neighborhood coffee shop, where everyone knows your name and remembers your order. I love being involved in the day-to-day with my staff and regular patients. I’m most excited about how the Jupiter location can serve the community–until we opened our doors, patients living in Jupiter Farms had to travel pretty far to get their medicine!
Any favorite Sanctuary products?
I believe ending the war on drugs is one of the lowest-hanging fruits stopping the world from being a happier, healthier, safer place. I’m grateful for the opportunity to challenge the status quo on the daily.