Women to Watch: Jamie Dennis of COCO Dispensaries

Women to Watch: Jamie Dennis of COCO Dispensaries


When we think about Women to Watch, there are many notable candidates within our growing Missouri market.  Our pick for this installment of the series was a no-brainer – Jamie Dennis, Regional Manager at COCO Dispensaries has been quietly emerging as a true leader in the space and we’re so pleased to feature her for Women to Watch.  


The cannabis industry as a whole is known for storytelling, in fact, the reason many of us chose this industry is because of our own experience with the plant.  Jamie is no exception, her own cannabis “story” is a compelling one.  After working in the pharmacy industry both as an entrepreneur at 16 and for CVS for nearly 10 years, Jamie was recruited by Green Thumb Industries, better known as GTI, one of the nation’s largest MSOs, to be a GM for a dispensary.  It was at that time, working in the Illinois market, that she started using cannabis.  Dennis was suffering from sleep disorders as well as mental health concerns and noticed when using cannabis that her symptoms were lessened far more than with any of the prescription cocktails that her physicians were insisting were important for her health.  


As Dennis made the transition from GTI to COCO, coming back to work in her home state, she had an epiphany.  “We were using Cannabis Care Team for training and we were in a session and we started talking about the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) and all of the science based information about the medicinal benefits of the plant suddenly made sense in my own situation – it was an absolute game changer.”  Not only did it make her more interested in her own health, but she was able to quickly ascertain that education is key for patients and employees in the cannabis industry. 



Her mission quickly became to implement as many educational opportunities as possible into her team’s development, as well as her own.  As a result, her team members at COCO present educational mini-sessions to the rest of the team during their weekly meetings, ensuring that everyone stays fresh and current on their products and patients.  Education is what Jamie says is her favorite part of her role in the industry, “Education is what’s going to set us apart from our competition, that’s what makes us successful in dispensaries.  Our staff and our patients make up a full circle – educate staff, educate patients, grow business, retain employees and loyal patients.”  


We posed the magic wand question to Jamie during our interview – if you had a magic wand and could quickly change something in Missouri’s market tomorrow, what would it be?  “Right now, to change the guidance and rule on banning promotions and products from dispensaries.  We serve so many patients that are either low income or on a strict budget or both and they need to have the ability to shop around for the best prices on the products they know will help them.”  


What does it take to be successful in cannabis?  Dennis’ answer is immediate, “It all goes back to culture and team – patient focus and making employees feel like family.  Commitment is rewarded at COCO and our value system consists of patient focus, education, and culture. I look for passion!  If your team and your peers see your passion, it helps to ignite their own passion.  When you have passionate people communicating in the industry and in the teams we lead, we are a powerhouse.”