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During my time on the Las Vegas Convention Center floor, between scheduled interviews and exploring all the new products and innovations, I ran into two dispensary operators, Weiwei “Vivian” Fellman and Monica Werkheiser.
Unlike some of the larger, big-name dispensaries you see in multiple states (think Cookies, Trulieve and Curaleaf) Fellman and Werkheiser both are in different stages of building their companies and brands within their respective markets.
While both women head up operations for their companies, that’s about where the similarities end.
Fellman, who immigrated from Vietnam, lives in Fargo, North Dakota and is founder and chief visonary officer for Kota Botanics, a line of hemp CBD products available both online and at Kota’s own branded shops.
Werkheiser is a former pharmacy manager who also managed a line of medical cannabis dispensaries in Pennsylvania before being awarded a recreational license in New Jersey, where she is readying here shop, Canna Remedies, for open in Fall 2023.
My first interview is with Fellman, where we talk about why Kota Botanics focuses exclusively on CBD products, where hemp CBD's place is in the wider cannabis eco-system and where she see’s her stores expanding in the future.
That's followed by my interview with Monica Werkheiser, who is setting up a dispensary in Ewing, New Jersey, just outside of Camden.
We talk about New Jersey's unique licensing system, the difference between medical and recreational dispensaries within the state, and what it will be like operating a dispensary between some of the largest metro areas in the country.
Kota Botanics website: https://kotabotanics.com/
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