Industry Blazers is a periodic Q&A that spotlights Arizona’s talented medical marijuana professionals who influence and grow the industry. Brought to you by a collaboration between AZmarijuana.com and Proven Media. Do you know someone that is an Industry Blazer in Arizona? If so, email us their name and contact info.
Sara Gullickson | CEO & Founder of Dispensary Permits
Sara Gullickson is the founder and CEO of Scottsdale-based Dispensary Permits, one of the longest standing cannabis consulting firms in the country. Established in 2010, the firm has secured multiple cannabis license wins for their clients across 13 states and anticipates 15 markets in Spring 2018.
Gullickson is also an industry investor. She secured a provisional medical cannabis license for Strive Wellness of Nevada, LLC, a cultivation and processing facility to be located outside of Las Vegas. She will serve as COO of the company.
Throughout her eight years in the industry Gullickson has helped multiple startups achieve funding and has operational and dispensary opening experience from coast to coast. In addition, Dispensary Permits has consulted for clients in Europe, South America and Australia.
As a sought-after industry spokesperson, Gullickson recently presented at the 2018 Real Estate Wealth Expo in Toronto, the 2018 World Medical Cannabis Conference in Pittsburgh, the 2017 Real Estate Wealth Expo in Los Angeles, and the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo. She was named one of the Top Ten Cannabis Entrepreneurs by Herb Magazine early this year.
Q&A with Sara Gullickson
What is your favorite cannabis product, strain or flavor?
Durban Poison and Delta 8 by Item 9 Labs.
What is something most people don’t know about you or your business?
Most people are surprised I’m from Minnesota and that I’ve been on the entrepreneurial track since I was 25. I’ve always had a passion for health and wellness, so it was natural for me to gravitate towards the cannabis industry. I started Dispensary Permits in 2010, and it has been a wild ride. I’ve definitely been put through the ringer in this industry, but it has only made me stronger.
Tell us your favorite thing about being a part of the cannabis business community?
Every day is wildly different, and I thrive on the challenge. Rules and regulations are constantly changing, and I have to anticipate these changes, adapt, and pivot on a dime. It definitely keeps me on my toes and never lets me slip into complacency. I’m always learning, which is an extra source of motivation.
What is your favorite cannabis event?
MJBizCon Las Vegas is the event of the year for the cannabis industry. The event has grown quickly just like the industry itself. Our progress and innovation are tangible, and it’s definitely inspiring. I really appreciate how it is very much a B2B event. The environment helps me to define my business goals and set new intentions for the coming year.
Who are your business idols and role models? Why?
Anyone who hustles and doesn’t let obstacles get in their way. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with Tony Robbins and Pitbull at the Real Estate Wealth Expos and they’ve become my biggest role models. Their message of positivity, hard work, and determination mirror my hustle and reason for success.
What about you or your company gets the most praise from customers?
Our expertise, strategy, and thoroughness. We develop customized business plans for each and every one of our clients from the ground up, and always go above and beyond license application requirements. It’s about rising above the competition and standing out, that’s what we provide.
What was the greatest obstacle you overcame to succeed?
Building a business isn’t easy, it’s hard to stay positive and not give up in the face of adversity. When I first started my business, I wasn’t making any money, but I kept pushing forward because I knew I was helping people. I’ve also had to deal with people underestimating my abilities, especially being a young woman in a new industry. Through my experience, I’ve learned to not be intimidated when I sit at the head of the table. Stay true to who you are and demand respect from the moment you walk through the door.
What is in your playlist that would surprise people who know you?
Ha! I’m from Minnesota so I get down with some country every once in a while.
What was your last social media post?
Dispensary Permits is spreading the news about medical cannabis as an alternative treatment for ALS in hope of improving the quality of life for those suffering.
What superhero trait would you most like to have?
I’d love to fly. I could get to all of my favorite spots much quicker!
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