Joe Tuitea had just graduated from college with plans to be a high school history teacher when he decided to get a job as a trimmer at MedMen to help pay off his student loans. Cut to almost three years later, and he is now the General Manager of MedMen Beverly Hills. Joe says his final paper in college was on the prohibition of alcohol and he quickly saw the parallels that were taking place with cannabis. “I thought, ‘Dude, if I leave now, I’ll miss my chance to make history with MedMen,’” he remembers. “And I knew I would definitely regret it if I didn’t take this opportunity.”
He had a full circle moment when his former history professor actually came into the store one day with her husband, a retired police officer, looking for alternatives to painkillers. He introduced them to tinctures and says the couple has followed him through his entire career, now coming into the Beverly Hills store to shop with him. When they first came in, however, Joe says he was still under the impression that cops and teachers would never consume cannabis, so he was shocked to be proven so wrong. “When I first started, I thought cannabis was a negative thing and now my perception of it changed,” Joe says. “Now we have a chance to provide this type of education to the community, where I realized that if my college professor comes in, and if my mom – who has never consumed cannabis – is now consuming CBD products, we are really changing people’s minds.” And just like that, Joe went from teaching about history to making history at the forefront of the cannabis industry.