Kyle Shaughnessy is the Sales and Education Coordinator at The Apothecarium in San Francisco. He was first introduced to cannabis in graduate school, and immediately noticed a shift in his attitude and anxiety. “I was pleasantly surprised to discover how it alleviated my dyslalia, a speech disorder I’ve suffered from my entire life, which manifests in a hesitation, or stutter. That was the first time I ever felt relief from my disability and it was life-changing,” he says. “I started using cannabis more often and realized its potential, prompting me to make a career jump and join The Apothecarium.”
Kyle immediately discovered The Apothecarium was different to other dispensaries in San Francisco. In 2014, most dispensaries catered to experienced cannabis users looking for the strongest products possible but The Apothecarium was ahead of its time in recognizing there were people interested in using cannabis but unsure about going to an old-school dispensary. “We created a space for beginners and experienced users alike, to ask as many questions as they want, without pressure, often in one-on-one consultations,” Kyle explains.
“We focus on education, patient outreach, active listening, and holding space, so that our patrons feel they are being heard. Of course, not everyone needs a consultation, but we recognize that cannabis is not universally understood and we are trained and ready to make your experience that much easier.”
Kyle points out that most patients want a consultation to some degree and are seeking relief from three common ailments: anxiety, pain and inflammation, and insomnia. “They’re often parents, siblings, or friends of other patients who have referred them. First time cannabis users sometimes need that extra push and support from someone they trust.”
The Apothecarium is known for State Flower Cannabis and Valhalla Gummies, both of which were first sold at The Apothecarium and have gained big followings. “Our boutique, operated by Marcella Sanchez, is a beautiful focal point of our store, featuring unique, rare, and often hand-made accessories such as pipes, bongs, rigs, dugouts, grinders, books, and more, that are very popular and make fantastic gifts,” he adds.
“When I believe in a brand and product like Papa & Barkley Patches, I’ll put that across in my consultations.”Kyle Shaughnessy, Sales and Education Coordinator, The Apothecarium, San Francisco, California.
Because The Apothecarium attracts cannabis beginners who are new users, it focuses a distinct emphasis on customer service, active listening techniques, and body language. “We know purchasing cannabis can be a jarring experience for some, so we want to make it as comfortable as possible. The very first thing I stress when training new team members, is that we are here for our customers.”
The most rewarding part of Kyle’s job is seeing someone experience relief for the first time. The idea that The Apothecarium has the ability to properly communicate and share cannabis knowledge which can result in truly helping someone feel better and healthier through a natural alternative, was the epiphany that made Kyle realize he had no ordinary job. “We get to help people and see the effects of our work firsthand, and that, to me, is mind-blowing.”
One of Kyle’s favorite products is the Papa & Barkley transdermal patches. “They’re so unique,” he enthuses. “The Papa & Barkley Balms are highly effective, but the technology in the Papa & Barkley Patches allows for slow-release, low-dose, and discreet usage in four different CBD:THC ratio options. Patients apply a patch in the morning and go about their day without pain or having to reapply.”
Kyle remembers he immediately trusted Papa & Barkley as he was struck by the fact that this brand, like The Apothecarium, puts its patients first. “When I believe in a brand and product like Papa & Barkley Patches, I’ll put that across in my consultations,” he concludes.