Deane Albright Launches Nevada’s New Marijuana Business
By Andrea Heerdt
“I don’t actually smoke medical marijuana,” said Deane Albright, the founder and treasurer of Nevada’s newest dispensary. For someone who is not a personal user, Albright doubtlessly supports dope.
It’s been nearly two months since Nevada’s newest medical marijuana dispensary opened its doors to the public on August 26, 2015. On a typical afternoon, Sierra Wellness Connection bustles with an array of customers of all ages seeking treatment. Behind the years of planning and preparation stands the man responsible, Deane Albright.
Although Albright may not look like the typical medical marijuana supporter. An older man with a short haircut, dressed business casual views the criminalization of medical marijuana to be irrational. Albright is college educated and owns his own Certified Public Accountants firm. He grew up in the late 1960s during the hippie movement and is well aware that cannabis has been used as a pharmacological tool for thousands of years. Albright personally believes medical marijuana is a better therapy for certain ailments versus turning to alcohol. He supports those who use it for medical reasons and personally knows employees and friends that told him medical marijuana saved their lives.
Dispensary manager and mentee, Eva Grossman, stands behind what Albright is doing at Sierra Wellness Connection. She has been through a serious medical accident and is now able to empathize and communicate to customers about what they may be going through as well as different treatment options.
Before Sierra Wellness Connection, many people in the Reno area did not have the resources and expertise to grow medical marijuana on their own or were unable to travel to a dispensary in another state to purchase a safe product. In 2013 the Nevada Legislature passed a bill in which a business could grow, cultivate and sell medical marijuana. When this happened, Albright embarked on a mission to create a facility that educates and provides patients with treatment options in the safest manner possible.
“We just wanted to make sure that if it was done that it would be done right with ethical people who would obey all the regulations rules and make sure it was done properly,” Albright said.
Albright and his fellow founders at Sierra Wellness Connection wanted to ensure that their company would be comfortable for patients to purchase medical marijuana. Other founders such as Steven Nightingale and Joe Crowley, the former president of the University of Nevada, Reno, stood behind Albright and guaranteed that their company would open its doors in the most compliant way and to the highest standards.
In addition to the obvious business opportunity, Albright wanted to add something new to the Reno community. Sierra Wellness Connection is currently creating different support groups for veterans, senior citizens and families with autistic children called the compassionate care for kids group. Inside Sierra Wellness Connection includes a room with the sole purpose of educating patients about safe medical marijuana use. Many have no experience using medical marijuana, and Sierra Wellness Connection has made the process of becoming educated easier thanks to the founder and treasurer, Deane Albright.