dispensary manager spotlight

For businesses around the country attempting to weather the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, creativity and agility have become essential survival skills. When business as usual just isn’t possible, companies have had to adopt a flexible-or-die mentality in order to stay open, stay viable, and continue to deliver essential products.

Adapting on the fly is something Brittney Streate is well experienced in – and thankfully has practiced for a while. The Territory Mesa General Manager describes her experience and approach during these stressful times:

“Finding the right people to work in your shops is the best thing you can do,” Streate said. “People bring people back.”

In every industry, communication is essential—both from top to bottom and team member to team member, but also among dispensaries. Streate, who helped open all three Territory locations, praises other dispensaries for their assistance.

“You just have to adapt really quickly. Especially during the times we’re going through right now, everyone has to be on their toes…even before all this happened, with what our industry is, any rules coming from AZDHS are on the daily,” Streate said. “[It’s] Important for us to stay strong as a community. To get where we want to be — it’s going to take all of us working together.”

Streate speaks highly of her vendors, sharing that they are the best option for understanding new cannabis products, as vendor team trainings really help her bud tenders recommend the best products for their patients’ ailments. This information base transfers easily from vendor to budtender to patients, which allows deeper needs to be met without always having 101-level conversations. “The more information we can give our patients, the more knowledgeable they become, which makes things easier on us,” Streate said.

Her job duties include helping write policies, procedures, and standards, as well as cash handling, tips, and marketing ideas. She also focuses on “people development”—setting up pipelines to empower employees with loyalty and longevity, so they can be “just as strong as their general manager, so anybody in the shop is capable.”

Streate’s focus on culture through people development permeates everything she does at Territory Mesa, and she knows it’s appreciated.

“All of our employees are amazing at turning it on, knowing that our patients come first,” Street said. “We have the same product, we have the same pricing; the only thing we can change is to have different people. Bring in people from every demographic…so we can really connect with our patients.”

Streate has personally found success with cannabis, using it to soothe aches and pains after sports when she was younger. After some time away from the plant in her late teens, she noticed her quality of life had diminished, so she started again in college and has never felt better. Now nearing her 30s, she finds it indispensable in dealing with minor aches and pains.

She credits her early work with Dutch Bros and Chipotle in helping set the tone for understanding how to create and maintain culture, and knows the cannabis industry is exactly where she’s meant to be.

“There’s never been an industry that I’ve worked for, that’s made me believe in the product over and over again. You get a different story every day, you just believe in it more,” Streate said. “We’re still fighting to this day to prove its medicine. We have to change the stereotype. We’re not lazy stoners, we come into work every day; we work just as hard as everybody else. This is our route to be able to feel better, to be able to work harder, to be able to work stronger, to do the things we wouldn’t be able to do without it.”

Thanks, Brittney – your commitment to culture makes the Arizona cannabis community stronger and better! In these troubled times, we need each other more than ever. Item 9 Labs has nothing but high praise for everyone adapting, thinking creatively, and putting the health of our community first.

With you in Good Times and Good Health,

Item 9 Labs