Maybe you’ve wondered how The Green Solution does it. How do we consistently stay at the top of the cannabis industry, innovating and winning awards year after year, day in and day out? I’ll tell you a secret. We have an unbeatable formula: product + people. If you’ve ever visited TGS, you know what I mean. And if you’ve ever visited our Malley store in Northglenn, you probably know Miyagi, one of our MVPs.
I talked to Miyagi about his life and his experience at TGS.
Born in Japan, Miyagi (or Michael, as he was known then) moved to Southern California as a kid. As an adult, he and his own young family moved to Colorado in 1993, “with the intention of duplicating the movie The Adventures of the Wilderness Family,” he says with a laugh. While that plan didn’t quite work out, his family did find a home in Colorado.
But then bad luck struck. A malignant melanoma awakened Miyagi to the fact that he wasn’t in good health. Since then, he’s survived two heart attacks, eight ulcers, and liver cancer.
“I was deeply depressed because of all that my body had gone through. My world was collapsing around me,” he said. Then a friend from church introduced him to medical marijuana. It improved his energy and his attitude. He went from “looking and feeling sick every day” to the vibrant and friendly man patrons know and love today.
Miyagi has been with TGS since January of 2012. He had been working for a competitor and had visited over 100 dispensaries as part of his job. The Green Solution stood out to him. He wanted to be part of the TGS family. The rest, as they say, is history.
So, how did he come to be called Miyagi? “When I first started working at TGS, a couple of customers kept calling me Mr. Miyagi. Mr. Miyagi was a great guy, so I wasn’t offended,” he says. Then one day he went to the DMV. As he was waiting his turn, he heard a voice call for “Mr. Miyagi” over the loud speaker. When he approached the counter, he found that the agent helping him was one of his regular customers at TGS. From then on, the name stuck. He became Miyagi.
I asked Miyagi what his favorite TGS product is. After thinking for a minute, he had an enthusiastic answer. “The Twistpenser!” He loves the versatility it offers. When I asked him what his favorite thing about The Green Solution is, Miyagi didn’t even hesitate. The diversity of the patrons is what makes TGS so special to him. “It’s all of us. Everybody is represented. Every color, every race, every nationality, from all over the world. It’s all of us. Nobody is excluded.”
He added, “I sincerely love what I do. I think that comes across. Sometimes people come through the line and the typical interaction is ‘how’s it going?’ ‘oh, it’s going fine.’ I can look at them and know if that’s true. I think I’ve mastered that.” We think so too. And that’s pretty special.
Miyagi wanted to end the interview with one of the jokes he’s known for. At the risk of getting his words wrong, I’ll paraphrase it for you.
A stoner gets pulled over by a cop. The cop comes to the window of the stoner’s car and asks, “How high are you?” To which the stoner replies, “No, that’s not how it goes. You’re supposed to say, ‘hi, how are you?’”
Thanks, Miyagi. You’re part of what makes TGS great – corny jokes and all.