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EMBER / Our Stories
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June 25, 2019
Joe Simmien, Co-Manager of Operations at MedMen Venice

When Joe Simmien told his grandmother that he was moving from Chicago to California to pursue a career in the cannabis industry, she was a little surprised, to say the least. Prior to his decision to move, he had worked as a 911 dispatcher for a decade, and his family didn’t understand his plans for a career change. “They said, ‘This is not normal, you don’t just leave and go do that.’ And I said, ‘Yes, you do leave and do that. When you believe in it, you leave and you do it.’” It was that ambition that got Joe hired at MedMen, and led to him being promoted four times in under 18 months. During his transition from Operations Associate to Co-Manager of Operations at MedMen Venice – with three other titles in between – he realized he no longer needed to follow through on his plan to move to Oakland to learn how to grow cannabis. That’s because he quickly discovered that he was getting more of an education as a MedMen employee.

Joe says he’s happy to be working in an industry that is providing so many job opportunities, adding that “it’s positive, it removes taboo and it boosts the economy.” But his favorite part of his job is the pride he feels working for MedMen. “I’m proud to hand out my business card,” Joe says. “I’m just really proud to wear this MedMen badge on my chest.” And as for grandma? Joe says she’s now the proudest one of all.

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