Marijuana Business Magazine July 2019

Marijuana Business Magazine | July 2019 128 F or eight years after launching in 2010, The Om of Medicine operated in Ann Arbor, Mich- igan, from a third-floor space that was barely visible from the street. The location allowed patients to buy medical cannabis without drawing much attention. Today, the dispensary has a prime, ground-floor location in the heart of downtown. Moreover, Om—the name refers to a sacred spiritual symbol of Sanskrit origin—boasts a prominent public profile through its active participa- tion in the Ann Arbor community. The company sponsors local nonprofits, hosts concerts and other community events, contributes data to the nearby university for academic research and lobbies for legislative change at the local, state and federal levels. It also has a physician on staff who’s available for patient consul- tations, a move that boosts Om’s credibility as a provider of medical marijuana to Ann Arbor residents. It’s a multipronged approach that aims to achieve a key goal: Support the community that supports Om’s business. While the company’s approach may be collaborative, it’s also financially savvy. Om retains existing Local Booster By Celene Adams Michigan dispensary transitions from marginal to Main Street via community involvement Business Strategies | Retail The Om of Medicine built its business by supporting the Ann Arbor, Michigan, community and its residents. The medical marijuana company has developed a promi- nent public profile through its civic engagement. The dispensary: • Is a member of the Main Street Area Association, an affiliation that enables building relationships with neighboring businesses. The affiliation and Om’s Main Street address lend legitimacy to an industry still seen by many in Michigan as marginal. • Donates to local nonprofits, a move that has allowed the company to put its logo on those organizations’ websites and on a local food bank’s distribution trucks. • Hosts cultural events in its large lounge, including art exhibits and concerts. • Lobbies for legislation favorable to the cannabis industry at the local, state and federal levels. The Om of Medicine uses its large lounge as an art gallery and music venue. Courtesy Photo