Chandra Violet is the Operations & Sourcing Director for Bloom City Club , the first female-owned and operated dispensary in Michigan @Bloomcannabis. Aly Banta is their Operations and Training Director. Bloom offers organic, pesticide-free, high-quality cannabis, produced exclusively by members of their collective of caregivers.
We had the honor of interviewing both Chandra and Aly and getting to know how she ended up in the cannabis space.
Ganjly: What is your background and what made you decide to pursue a career in cannabis?
Chandra Violet: I was an artist/crafter for many years, making jewelry and selling at festivals throughout the midwest. I also managed a small family farm for 5 years. I had many friends already in the cannabis industry in various ways. At a time when I was in a transitional period in my life, I was offered a job at one of my best friends dispensaries. Best decision!
Ganjly: How many employees does Bloom City Club have and what kind of traits do you look for when hiring new members?
Aly Banta: At this point in time, we currently have 15 team members who ensure our culture of compassion, knowledge and professionalism remains ingrained as the very essence of who we are. We look for driven, passionate individuals who resonate this Bloom culture.
Ganjly: What is the most challenging experience you and Bloom City Club have had in the cannabis industry so far?
Aly Banta: The most challenging experience thus far has been working so diligently with our team to ensure we are fully compliant in regards to the MMMFLA Emergency Rules in preparation for our State Operating License. We are eager to be able to bring in tax money to aid in, for example, the improvement of community roads and once fully regulated and legalized we believe the industry will bring jobs and substantial growth to local businesses and restaurants.
Ganjly: What is your proudest moment since you started down this path of being an entrepreneur in the cannabis space?
Chandra Violet: Sitting down with a local police officer who had concerns about how our business was run and making sure cannabis was not getting into the hands of minors. It was a respectful conversation and I confidently gave him the answers he was seeking. He left knowing we were a strict and professional business adhering to all local and state laws. I felt proud at how far this industry has come. I felt proud for all the patients we help and all the people we employ. It was a good moment! Another proud moment was seeing a product I helped to develop, from start to finish, hit the shelves and people loving it.
Aly Banta: The proudest moment in my cannabis career was the day I saw a dear friend and loyal patient at Bloom walk through our front door without her cane which she had been fully dependant on for the past 2 years due to the severe arthritis in both her knees. We had been consulting with her for several days and were finally able to navigate her towards CBD capsules and a topical that extinguished her pain level to a manageable state.
Ganjly: Do you have plans for new products, services or events and would you be willing to drop any hints about what we can expect from Bloom City Club in the future?
Chandra Violet: Product development in the cannabis industry is happening at a rapid pace and is fiercely competitive. In our shop, we attract a lot of women, seniors and first time users which bring about new and interesting demands. Microdosing options and self-care items rich in CBD and terpenes are hot!
Ganjly: What is your advice for hopeful cannabis entrepreneurs who are considering joining the cannabis industry? What are the positives and negatives they should expect?
Aly Banta: My advice would be, if you’re looking for a career that constantly rejuvenates you and leaves you with a resounding sense of good-doing each day, then the cannabis industry may be one to pursue. Seeing first hand the positive influence we have with the community and being able to consistently provide safe medicine our patients can rely on certainly fills ones with zeal.
Chandra Violet: The cannabis industry is unique and challenging with lots of opportunity for growth! It is extremely rewarding and certainly helping people feel better and changing people’s lives for the better are reason enough to pursue a career in cannabis. However, it is changing rapidly and getting very corporate very quickly. Exceptional customer service and patient experience can play a huge part in your success. There is so much new information coming out all the time! Constantly learning and being open is key to getting and staying on top. Work hard and strive for excellence!
Thank you ladies! We appreciate the time you took to do the interview. We would love to see your dispensary someday! We saw pictures of it and it is very welcoming and homey.
To know more about the company, go to Bloom City Club.