CEO & Founder, DispensaryPermits.com
Sara Gullickson is a nationally recognized cannabis industry leader and business expert.
Born in Minneapolis and raised in Minnetonka, Minnesota, Gullickson moved to the Southwest to complete her Bachelors in Communications at Arizona State University, and received her Masters of Business Administration and Marketing from the Keller Graduate School in 2011. After graduation, she spent five years in marketing, while specializing in digital and print campaigns, budgeting, social networking, and events.
A visionary entrepreneur with a passion for health and wellness, it was natural for Gullickson to enter the medical marijuana industry.
Gullickson’s experience with boutique and large-scale corporations provided a strong foundation to start her own consulting company. Founded in 2010, DispensaryPermits.com offers seed-to-sale consulting services with hands-on support for medical marijuana entrepreneurs. The company creates custom, crafted business solutions for those interested in owning or operating a dispensary, cultivation, manufacturing, testing or ancillary facility.
Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, DispensaryPermits.com serves clients in competitive and emerging state markets throughout the country. As the Founder and CEO of one of the most long-standing medical marijuana-consulting firms, Gullickson has successfully secured ten license acquisitions and worked on projects in New Jersey, Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, Maryland, and Hawaii.
An industry innovator and thought leader, Gullickson continues to develop and expand her business by assisting clients on pre- and post-license projects. Her company offers a full spectrum of services including the preparation of dispensary operations for compliance, securing real estate, cultivation and dispensary budgeting, policies and procedures, marketing and education, dispensary opening events, and facility functionality and design.
Gullickson encourages clients to become physically “fit” and mentally prepared to enter the industry. State application processes often take 8-14 months of dedication, and Gullickson is adept at skillfully navigating license complexities while effectively “training” her clients, resulting in multiple license wins.
In order to assist new dispensary and cultivation licensees, Gullickson developed Strive Concepts, a franchise style model where clients learn how to operate a fully functional, compliant cannabis facility, and open their doors within 12-16 weeks. Strive Concepts operates in a 4,000 square-foot state-of-the-art dispensary showroom in Tucson, Arizona. The facility hosts clients and provides 24-hours of operational training with industry experts, customized policies and procedures training, and access to cultivation and production facilities.
A cannabis advisor and consultant for the past seven years, Gullickson spent four years in executive level positions with operational and dispensary opening experience that extends from the East to the West Coast.
She was named an Arizona Trendsetter by Arizona Foothills Magazine, and has been featured in numerous national media outlets including CNN, NBC, Fox News, National Public Television, Yahoo Finance, Entrepreneur, National Geographic, Dr. Oz, Forbes, Business News Daily, Phoenix Business Journal, Marijuana Business Daily, Direct Cannabis Network, Phoenix New Times, Ganjapreneur , the Chicago Sun Times, Crain’s Business and others.
Gullickson has been a featured speaker and panelist at the Women Grow National Leadership Summit, the Arizona Assessors Conference, the Marijuana Business Conference in Chicago, the Cannabis World Conference & Business Expo in Los Angeles, the Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo in Phoenix and San Diego, and at Women Grow Networking events.
At the forefront of one of the fastest growing industries in the nation, Gullickson has made it a priority to help other entrepreneurs succeed through educational endeavors and networking events.
Gullickson is a founding member Women Grow, a national organization created to connect and empower the next generation of cannabis industry leaders, and served as Phoenix chapter chair. During her tenure, the chapter flourished, expanding membership from 30 to its maximum of 80 members. Gullickson hosted monthly networking events that provided essential industry knowledge for those who were new to cannabis, and insight to those who were well versed in the industry.
Early in 2017, Gullickson stepped down from her leadership role at Women Grow in order to focus on client projects, which have increased exponentially with the passage of new legalization measures.
Despite a rigorous schedule, Gullickson continues to teach and lead cannabis business classes and presentations at major industry events.
Gullickson also dedicates her time to advocacy efforts. Since governing bodies do not have the budget to hire industry experts for Medical Marijuana processes, Gullickson has personally helped multiple states with their programming through legislative sessions, speaking engagements, and meetings with political activists and local figureheads.
She has attended multiple political gatherings to raise medical marijuana awareness, both at Lobby Days in Washington, D.C, and at the Phoenix Capitol. As a business owner who understands the depth and breadth of medical and recreational state rules and regulations, Gullickson believes it is her duty to help new states shape their government processes.
Beyond her work in cannabis, Gullickson is an avid world-traveler, and a yogi who has completed more than two-hundred hours of Yoga Teacher Training.
“As industry activists, business professionals, patients, and citizens, it is our responsibility to remove the stigma that surrounds cannabis, a plant has been used for hundreds of years and helped millions of people with dozens of medical conditions and ailments,” says Gullickson.