Women to Watch: Dana Sullinger
Dana Sullinger is the General Manager of MOJO in Nixa, Missouri, and oversees all daily operations.
Coming from the world of pharmacy, Sullinger has a deep passion for the medicinal side of cannabis. Often staying in the office five days per week to assist customers who require counseling or have questions regarding drug-drug interactions.
Sullinger graduated pharmacy school in 1984 and worked in hospitals, home infusion, and the retail side of pharmacy for more than 38 years. During that time, she saw many patients who were seeking relief that traditional medicine wasn’t providing.
In 2021, she decided to take the leap and open MOJO Dispensary to offer patients another alternative.
MOJO Dispensary prides itself on being a truly family-owned facility. Its staff is mostly comprised of family, friends, and neighbors. The team wanted to create a friendly atmosphere for customers who might be new to cannabis where they can come in and feel like family.
What makes MOJO special?
We are one of a few dispensaries in the state with a drive-through. Not only is it convenient, we wanted to make sure anyone who had medical issues or any other issues preventing them from being able to come inside could still have access to cannabis. We also just finished a large renovation of our facility to provide a better overall customer experience.
Can you talk about the obstacles and benefits you’ve seen from adult use legalization?
Shortly after legalization, we saw a statewide supply shortage. We have amazing cultivators and manufacturers in Missouri! However, nobody could have foreseen an increase in market demand on this scale, mostly due to consumers coming over from neighboring states where adult-use is still illegal. The biggest benefit we have seen from adult-use legalization is easier access to cannabis. Consumers no longer have to jump through the hoops of getting a medical card which is wonderful for those just looking to use it recreationally.
How did you get into cannabis?
After being in retail pharmacy I recognized a need in my community for an alternative to traditional medicine. I saw so many patients who had tried everything on the market and I knew the answer might be cannabis. I got tired of not being able to talk to them about cannabis as that would have been seen as a conflict of interest. I eventually retired from my retail position to open MOJO Dispensary.
What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?
Getting my pharmacist license.
What is it like being a woman in your field?
Women are making huge strides in the cannabis world every day. Cannabis has a large female customer base and we find they really appreciate having another woman that they can consult with.
What if any challenges have you faced that you feel men in the industry don’t generally deal with?
I have grown wonderful relationships with both men and women in this business and have been happy to see more and more women getting into the cannabis world. Coming from the pharmacy world, I was able to apply my experience and knowledge of inventory and compliance to my new position. In the pharmacy world we are all treated as equals and I never expected anything less from cannabis.
What advice or encouragement would you give to other women in the cannabis industry?
Women are strong, smart and extremely capable. If you work hard, keep a positive attitude, hire great people and aren’t afraid to get your own hands dirty you will earn people’s respect.