Every Tuesday morning, ONE Cannabis has a cross-functional team meeting called “coffee collaboration” to help employees understand what’s happening throughout the organization, says Michael Weinberger, chief operating officer of ONE, the vertically integrated parent company of Unity Rd. retail stores and the Green Man Cannabis brand. The meeting includes people from the home office in Denver as well as team managers from the company’s stores and cultivation facility. It’s just one of the ways ONE demonstrates to employees that they’re valued members of the organization.
Teamwork comes in many forms at ONE Cannabis, which also includes 4:20 happy hours and kickball games. The happy hours occur every Thursday, during which employees take turns making cocktails, providing food and presenting on topics such as compliance or new products. Technology also plays a key role in collaboration and team building. The company uses Microsoft Teams for its Tuesday meeting to share updates and allow remote workers to attend the meeting.
“We have our office staff, our retail staff and our cultivation staff, and we’re not always in the same space,” Weinberger says. “With kickball, [for example], you get all the different departments together. It’s important, as a team, to have that culture intact because if you don’t have culture, you have nothing.”
ONE Cannabis further defines its culture through six brand behaviors, such as “excellence is our hustle” to emphasize that its commitment to high standards is fueled by a passion to succeed as a team, and “we’re fucking awesome,” which means team members should take themselves lightly and their work seriously, and that “being awesome requires everyone,” says Weinberger.
“We like to have some fun and appreciate each other as people,” Weinberger says. To keep this culture strong, ONE Cannabis devotes a lot of time to hiring employees who match its brand behaviors. “We are very long to hire,” Weinberger says. “Everyone in the office meets anyone who’s going to be part of our team. We hire by committee because we want to make sure it’s a good fit across the board.”
For instance, when the company conducts interviews, candidates meet with people from various teams throughout the organization to make sure they’re a cultural fit, Weinberger says. Interview questions often reflect the light-hearted atmosphere. Sample questions may include “What Disney character best describes your personality?” and “What’s your ideal three-artist lineup for a concert—dead or alive?” says Weinberger.
ONE Cannabis also provides opportunities for entrepreneurship. As a franchisor, the company helps eager operators enter the complex industry by offering its partners the knowledge, resources and ongoing support needed to compliantly and profitably operate a dispensary. The company also supports minority franchise owners through its Social Equity and Economic Development program, which offers financial support to qualified applicants. “We spend a lot of time in franchise training, teaching people how to treat employees right,” Weinberger says. “We want to make sure that our brand pillars and company integrity show up in each one of our franchise locations.”