by Rick Thompson/July 13, 2019
ANN ARBOR- The July 2019 edition of the Marijuana Business Magazine features a look at one of Michigan’s most successful cannabis operations.
‘Local Booster’ is an article about Ann Arbor’s Om of Medicine. The piece appears in the publication’s ‘Business Strategies’ section and offers a look at how one of Michigan’s oldest surviving cannabis businesses has thrived since opening in 2010.
The article emphasizes Om’s use of special events to reward members and attract new patients, including comedy nights. “Om also hosts music, art and educational events in its large lounge,” writes MBM‘s Celene Adams.
These events create a sense of community within the Om family, and “About half the attendees brings guests with them,” Om’s community outreach coordinator Lisa Conine told the magazine. Their work has paid off in the form of a patient base that is more than 19,000 strong.
Om has more than a business model, it has a responsibility mandate. The facility’s extracurricular activities include serious philanthropy, heavy involvement in cannabis politics and personal commitment. MBM mentions the civic engagement efforts to support Michigan’s Prison Creative Arts Project and the Open Heart Magic organization, which “sends volunteer magicians to entertain hospitalized children.”
Om was awarded with the Bread Winner award from the local food bank for their ongoing financial contributions, made possible in part by donations from Om patients. Philanthropic acts not only give back to their community, Conine said they are “a big piece in dismantling the stigma” that cannabis consumers and businesses face in a post-Drug War America.
Michigan cannabis advocates know there’s much more to the Om story than appeared in the print edition of the magazine.
Om was one of the founding members of the Michigan Association of Compassion Centers, the state’s first trade association and lobbying group for the cannabis industry. Om’s co-founder Mark Passerini was chosen in a national election to sit on the Board of the National Cannabis Industry Association and members of the Om staff recently lobbied for improved cannabis laws in Washington, D.C.
The offices at Om have been a featured location for media interviews and special meetings with visiting personalities. Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) met with Michigan industry principals at the Om offices, as have leaders from Americans for Safe Access, Marijuana Policy Project and other national organizations. Candidates for local office have given presentations or held meet-and-greet events at Om, including current House Representative Yousef Rabhi and Senator Jeff Irwin. The offices at Om have been the de facto hub for planning the annual Hash Bash events for the last several years.
Beyond the politics, Om has led the state’s industry as an icon of professionalism and taste. Each patient encounter takes place in a private consultation area to enable frank and open discussions about illness and need; compare that to the long counter, open-to-everyone style found at most Michigan provisioning centers of today. Om has always created a welcoming atmosphere where patients can relax and stay, instead of the transactional hustle-in-and-hustle-out formats seen elsewhere. Their offices are decorated in a modern style yet feature a calming vibe that no other provisioning center has managed to duplicate.
“Om is a symbol of us all being one,” Conine is quoted as saying. Om’s longevity and success convincingly demonstrate that this idea is more than just words at Ann Arbor’s premiere cannabis distribution facility.