Navigate to our accessibility widget

Saturday September 23, 2017

Updated on 8/2/2021

By Michael Walters

View our Editorial Policy
This content contains third-party advertisements. Click here to view PotGuide's advertising policy

There’s a lot of speculation and intrigue surrounding the fledgling cannabis industry these days – and for good reason, too. With more and more states approving progressive cannabis legalization measures, emerging markets are popping up across the nation, creating inconsistencies between states on a variety of fronts. Because cannabis is federally illegal, uniform regulations cannot be enforced nationwide, leaving it up to state legislators to create their own regulatory oversight of the plant in their respective states.

While this process has allowed the cannabis industry to take flight and become a major economic impact, it has also left every state with some form of legalized cannabis a different framework for how to approach cannabis. This has resulted in some states having better marijuana programs than others which unfortunately allows a few lesser-quality businesses to slip through the cracks. But what makes up an effective cannabis dispensary? Ultimately, that comes down to many factors, but one common characteristic every successful cannabis company has is an effective team.

Looking for a job in the marijuana industry? Browse PotGuide's cannabis job board here.

The Best Cannabis Jobs are with Companies that Have Great Teams

From a consumer standpoint, finding the best dispensaries to spend your hard-earned money is a critical aspect to a great cannabis experience. But don’t forget, just because this is the cannabis industry doesn’t mean quality products are the only thing to look for in a great canna-biz. Just like any other industry, cannabis companies are made up of hardworking teams working in sync to provide a service to their consumers.

From retail to human resources to compliance and growing, cannabis companies have a detailed hierarchy of operations that is flexible to a rapid-paced environment.

Recently, we had the pleasure to interview some key members of a fantastic cannabis company that operates on a full-spectrum of business acumen and marijuana integrity, Silver Stem Fine Cannabis. We’ve always admired Silver Stem’s commitment to quality products and excellent customer service, which is why we wanted to give our readers a sneak peek into how a great cannabis company operates.

In fact, Silver Stem was one of the first dispensaries in the market when only medical marijuana was legal in Colorado, allowing them to gain valuable insight and fine-tune their approach to quality customer service. To help you get a sense of how a high-caliber company like Silver Stem operates, we’ve detailed four key positions that help them run smoothly and effectively in this wide world of weed.

Director of Production – James Thomas

If you’ve ever been to one of Silver Stem’s dispensaries, then you know they have some of the best flower in Colorado. If you haven’t had a chance to visit one of their stores yet, do yourself a favor and check them out the next time you need to replenish your cannabis jar.

Aside from having some great genetics, Silver Stem does an excellent job cultivating their flower and producing some truly fine cannabis. Boasting some of the most impressive bud structure around, Silver Stem flower is expertly manicured and provides a smooth, clean burn with strong terpene profiles. Not to mention that they are one of the only companies growing their plants exclusively in soil and performing virtually every task from seed to curing by hand.

The man responsible for Silver Stem’s impeccable array of flower is James Thomas, a fifth-generation farmer born and raised in Colorado with a degree in Civil Engineering from Colorado State University and a passion and expertise for farming. Thomas’ commitment to the highest-quality cannabis stems from his farming background and value of hard work. As he puts it, “Our team puts in the long hours and the hard work because we know our customers appreciate it.” It is evident that Thomas and his team of hand-picked team of professional growers cultivate every plant with care.

James’ cultivating expertise stems from a farming background and passion for capturing the true essence of strains. Silver Stem Fine Cannabis

But Thomas’ vow to quality goes far beyond the concept of hard work. In addition to growing each and every plant in soil, he and his team believe in the symbiotic relationship between the plant and grower. That’s why each plant is hand-watered, hand-pruned and meticulously cared for using American farming techniques passed down through many generations. According to Thomas, Silver Stem uses these techniques to “capture the true essence of each strain…specifically chosen to excite the senses and energize the soul.”

The passion that Thomas and his team embody is a big factor why many consumers and patients adore Silver Stem’s flower.

Trust us, when you take a hit of Silver Stem’s cannabis, you can really taste the love and care that has gone into the strain.

And, in case you’re wondering what Thomas’ personal favorite is, don’t worry because he let us know, but not after stating how difficult it is for him to choose between all of their exceptional strains. Ultimately, he said, “From a grower standpoint, I would have to choose Snow Cap. This is a plant that is stronger and more resilient than any other strain I have come across. It is truly a gift to cultivate strains like snowcap.”

While Thomas thinks it’s a gift to cultivate Silver Stem’s strains, the real gift is getting to enjoy a few hits of them.

Director of Retail Operations – Matthew Christian

A marijuana dispensary would be lost without its sales outlet. That’s why retail is such an important aspect of the cannabis industry. As a matter of fact, the argument could be made that cannabis is revitalizing the retail industry in states with legalized forms of cannabis. Because cannabis is a product that is fairly new to a lot of people and the fact that regulations are unlike any other retail industry, the importance of having an effective retail staff is imperative.

Take it from Silver Stem’s Director of Retail Operations, Matthew Christian, who explains “The foundation of Silver Stem’s customer experience is and always will be grow standards, quality and consistency, consumer education, and community…Our staff has the tools to educate, converse and build relationships with every customer that enters our store.” Silver Stem places a hefty importance on having excellent customer service and they take a unique approach to interacting with patrons.

Matthew Christian values customer service and making sure every patient is treated well. Silver Stem Fine Cannabis

Instead of approaching medical and recreational sales separately, Silver Stem abides by a consistent ideology. Christian notes “Whether it’s medical or recreational, we consider all of our clients as patients. {Silver Stem} offers fantastic programs for both medical and recreational patrons because we want to show our gratitude for everyone that wants to experience fine cannabis.” Not many dispensaries have the same approach to their customer-base, which is one of the ways Silver Stem sets itself apart from other cannabis companies.

Silver Stem treats all of its patrons as family, creating a valuable and effective cannabis experience for everyone.

Their retail stores are clean, courteous, and their knowledgeable staff ensure you leave with a smile and the right product(s).

Director of Human Resources – Jane Roudatchenko

Silver Stem’s HR expert, Jane Roudatchenko, is always looking for passionate candidates. Silver Stem Fine Cannabis

Of course, a well-staffed cannabis company could not be possible without an expert Human Resources and recruiting team. If you’re thinking about joining the cannabis industry, we asked Silver Stem’s HR and hiring expert, Jane Roudatchenko, some common questions we hear about careers in the industry. Let’s take a look:

  • What do you look for in a potential employee (as it relates to cannabis)?

    Silver Stem looks for talented individuals who are enthusiastic about the cannabis industry and cannabis itself. Passionate candidates tend to develop, advance and become proficient in building their cannabis careers faster than those with less passion.

    Another big factor is a willingness to learn and adapt to firsthand experiences. The industry is constantly changing, making employees who are adaptable and quick-thinkers ideal candidates.

  • How can I stand out from the crowd?

    While work experience and qualifications play an important role when selecting candidates, Silver Stem looks for people who are genuinely enthusiastic about the position and the prospect of joining a marijuana company. Having high-energy and a demonstrable passion for cannabis is a great way to stand out from others.

  • What advice would you give someone looking for a job in the cannabis industry?

    There are several great ways to make an “in” into the cannabis industry. Attending career fairs is very effective for anyone looking to get started with a position in cannabis. Additionally, be confident in your own skills.

    If you have experience and education in another field but not necessarily in cannabis, think of ways you can translate your skill set to bring a new perspective into the industry. Companies are always looking for skilled employees who can add to their team, so put yourself out there!

    If you’re looking to find work in the cannabis industry, you’re in luck. Silver Stem is always looking for quality employees who desire to lean and grow within a fast-paced environment! With multiple openings and opportunities, there’s something for everyone. But don’t forget your passion and ambition, because you’ll need those traits to be successful in the cannabis industry.

Director of Compliance – Michael Hamilton

As we mentioned earlier, having high-quality flower isn’t the only aspect of building a successful cannabis company. In fact, in order for a canna-biz to be able to provide consumers with great cannabis products, they must have a strict attention to detail and follow all state-mandated regulations. That’s where compliance comes in. Without a devotion to compliance, a cannabis company risks providing subpar products or even fines and violations from state regulatory agencies – like the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) in Colorado.

Knowing your dispensary values compliance is key to trusting the products you buy from them. The man behind the compliant operations of Silver Stem is Michael Hamilton, a business-focused member of the team who has a great attention to detail and the ever-changing cannabis laws.

A keen attention to detail and an expert understanding of cannabis laws helps Michael Hamilton keep Silver stem in compliance at all times. Silver Stem Fine Cannabis

If you’re wondering how compliance affects you as a consumer, get this. According to Hamilton, “Compliance relates directly to the customer experience…allowing the consumer to leave contently with a quality product and the knowledge of how to safely consume and enjoy cannabis.” Because compliance directly relates to having a positive consumer experience, it’s a good thing that Silver Stem takes a serious approach to the matter, seeing it as an opportunity to drive decision-making and navigate the cannabis industry effectively.

On top of their personal commitment to compliance, Silver Stem is a key influencer in creating industry-wide standards.

Hamilton let us know that “Silver Stem has a strong commitment to compliance and works alongside the MED to provide feedback and perspective that helps craft new laws and reform existing ones.” Next time you visit one of Silver Stem’s dispensaries, take note of their upstanding value of compliance and safe, legal cannabis consumption.

Key Takeaways

The cannabis industry is emerging and growing every day. Such rapid growth presents a wide range of opportunities for talented individuals to build careers. Additionally, the youthful nature of the cannabis industry enables prospective employees to get in on the ground floor of a company.

Just think, when will you ever have the opportunity to be a part of a brand new industry? The emergence of new, multi-billion dollar industries doesn’t happen every day. So, if you’re interested, now is the time to act and start your journey in the cannabis industry.

Who knows, maybe one day you could end up like one of the four employees profiled today and truly make a difference not only for a specific company, but for the cannabis industry as a whole!

Photo Credit: Silver Stem Fine Cannabis (license)


Michael Walters Michael Walters

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric, Michael started his journey in the cannabis industry managing content, communications, and technical writing for one of Colorado's largest dispensary chains. In 2016, Michael pivoted to the ancillary sector to become PotGuide's Content Manager and was responsible for overseeing all of PotGuide’s editorial endeavors and content marketing strategies. Now, Michael is PotGuide's Director of Content & Marketing, focusing his efforts toward new educational content and exciting media endeavors.

With a life-long passion for cannabis knowledge and education, Michael devoted himself to becoming a subject matter expert on marijuana at an early age. Now, Michael has worked in the marijuana industry for over four years helping break down negative stigma and promoting safe cannabis practices. An avid consumer himself, Michael has worked tirelessly to improve content marketing strategies for cannabis businesses and is devoted to creating meaningful content that is useful to a wide variety of marijuana consumers. Follow Michael on LinkedIn and Instagram for updates and insights.

More From This Author

Related Articles