Four Questions with Aakanksh Jaikumar, General Manager, Ethos NE Philly
Ethos Cannabis is gearing up for the opening of its second Philadelphia dispensary! We are excited to welcome Aakanksh “AK” Jaikumar as the general manager of our newest location on Grant Ave. in Northeast Philadelphia. To introduce AK to Pennsylvania’s patient community, we at Ethos asked him four questions to learn more about his professional background, what he loves about Ethos, and get to know his favorite spots around the City of Brotherly Love.
How did you come to work in the cannabis industry?
Aakanksh: “My background is in substance abuse research. I grew up in the Philadelphia area, I went to Temple University, and I graduated in 2018 with a degree in neuroscience and psychology. I wanted to continue my research after graduation. This led me to working in the medical cannabis industry in Pennsylvania. I dipped my toes in and fell in love with the industry.
“My background in research is also one of the reasons why Ethos was a huge draw for me. Ethos’ partnership with Jefferson University is exploring very important questions about how and why cannabis helps for so many conditions. In fact, the research aspect is how I ended up in the cannabis industry in the first place – I wanted to work with people so I can have a more personal impact beyond what I was studying. At Ethos, I love the fact that I can stay in tune with the research that’s going on while serving patients, while being a part of a company that’s adding to the scientific literature of cannabis.”
What can patients expect when they come to Ethos?
Aakanksh: “Patients, especially those new to cannabis, may not know what to ask or look for. Our associates are trained to open the dialogue with everyone who comes in. We ask what someone is trying to find relief for, the time of day they plan to consume cannabis, if they have children, if discretion is important, and several other questions that help us guide them to the right product. We want to really dial in and figure out the best recommendations. That connects back to the training our associates get – we call on everybody, including medical professionals, to break down conditions.
“Discovering the right product is not a one question or two question process. We want to empower our patients with as much education as we can give them, so they have the knowledge and language they need to select a product and track if it works for them. The goal is to get them comfortable navigating our menu, and our associates are there every step of the way. This education changes any lingering stigma, which is a big part of the Ethos mission.”
What excites you the most about working with Ethos?
Aakanksh: “I’m excited to bring the ‘ethos’ of the dispensary to our community. The heart of what we do is to help patients… by providing medication, education, and being there to support them. I’m also excited to see our dispensary staffed by Philly natives, as our team is representing the community that we’re in. I think that’s very important for our patients.
“I’m also looking forward to helping a diverse group of patients. The average age of a patient is around 55. I was educating a lot of people not familiar with cannabis, while also encountering patients who have been consuming cannabis for decades and who are just rediscovering it as part of their health and wellness journey. It’s really something special to witness.”
What are some of your favorite things about Philadelphia?
Aakanksh: “I love the diversity and the different people that you can meet in this city. I’m looking forward to seeing our community reflected in the dispensary.
“There’s a lot of amazing food around Northeast Philly, too. Ethos is right next to Nifty Fifty’s – it’s a great date spot. I also love exploring restaurants up and down The Boulevard (Roosevelt Blvd.). Any type of food you can think of can be found on The Boulevard. I’m always on the lookout for a small family restaurant with amazing food.
“I also love spending time in Benjamin Rush State Park, which is off the Boulevard a few minutes from Ethos – Northeast Philadelphia. It’s a great sanctuary and open, natural area that you don’t come across too often in Philadelphia.”
Visit Ethos – Northeast Philadelphia
Ethos – Northeast Philadelphia is opening in June 2021! Join us on June 25th from 11am to 5pm for an Open House Block Party! Any patient or caregiver with their medical cannabis recommendation from the Pennsylvania Department of Health can come to our dispensary. Register here to receive menu updates, announcements, and specials via text and email.
Our newest Pennsylvania medical cannabis dispensary offers three ways to shop: Order online ahead of time and pick up, use a self-service kiosk in store to place your order, or speak with any Patient Care Associate to ask questions or get assistance placing an order. Ethos also offers a zero-touch payment option using the secure CanPay system.
Ethos – Northeast Philadelphia is located at 2467 Grant Ave., just a half-block from Roosevelt Blvd. Ethos – Northeast Philadelphia is easily accessible from major thoroughfares, including I-95 and U.S. Route 13, and can also be reached by SEPTA bus. We are looking forward to helping you feel better!