Jun 23, 2021
Meet Katrina Smith
If you’ve visited a Grass Roots store, called us, seen our posts on Facebook and Instagram, or read our blog posts, there’s a chance you’ve encountered Katrina Smith. Katrina, who wears a few hats at Grass Roots, works as a content creator and CBD educator, and she also manages some of the company’s IT needs, including point of sales services.
Katrina brings a depth of experience, passion, and knowledge about the cannabis industry and product-specific information to our team and our customers.
Katrina’s knowledge about industry regulations and requirements represents one aspect of her job. Before working at Grass Roots, Katrina learned about the benefits and medicinal properties of cannabis through the difficult experience of seeking relief for her previous husband, who lost his battle with cancer. While that dramatic life event upended her degree path in science writing and research, it ultimately connected her with Grass Roots Health owner and co-founder Elisha Millan.
Q: Tell us about your background.
While I was serving as a caregiver for my husband at the time, I saw cannabis in action and understood how viable it was. The improvement in quality of life for my husband then was unbelievable. At the time, CBD existed but wasn’t readily available. That was concurrent with Elisha discovering on her own the health benefits of CBD. When Elisha opened Grass Roots in 2017, she asked me to work with her. The combination of my life experience and science writing background enable me to communicate and articulate many of the issues around cannabis to key audiences, particularly people struggling with opioid addiction and people with cancer who may benefit from cannabis. I’m able to help customers understand what they need.
I like to think it was almost fortuitous. My unique background, life experience, professional and educational experience aligned with what Elisha needed at the moment she needed it.
Q: Describe your role at Grass Roots.
While I’ve been a customer since Grass Roots Health opened, I’ve been on the team for more than a year and a half. I’m somewhat of a jack of all trades: I help customers find the right products. I create patient education content for the website and social media accounts. Right now, I’m implementing an inventory management and point of sale system for both stores and managing our fiscal and physical growth.
I’m excited to watch Grass Roots grow. It’s lovely for my skills to be utilized, to feel well respected, and to be treated well as an employee. I can’t imagine doing anything else. While learning new systems, like our point of sale, isn’t familiar to me, figuring it out is my forte.
Q: What makes Grass Roots stand out among the competition?
Our knowledge about cannabis and industry-specific regulations strongly differentiates us in a very competitive market, and we don’t take that lightly.
No matter the level of associate, we require an educational level beyond any other retail industry. Elisha helps educate and inform, and she directs associates to trends and industry changes, but all Grass Roots associates know what’s going on — not just legally, but medicinally and functionally. We understand the differences in CBD, CBG, and kratom, for example, and the specific advantages of each product.
We require associates to have a vested interest in staying up to date. We relay experiential stories and other customers’ experiences, and when at all possible, we share hard scientific studies that support our products. In the cannabis industry, it’s a dance to educate and inform without crossing legal boundaries. Our product selection is the utmost quality and the top of the line in the industry, and we’re matching standards that haven’t yet been federally been required.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
My husband and I do some adventure touring on motorcycles. I consider myself a bourbon connoisseur, and overall, I do a lot of reading, research, and coloring. A lot of people wouldn’t expect this, but we shoot defense pistols competitively. It helps build self-esteem and confidence, and it’s a very calming and cathartic experience.