Sky Siegel uses an iPad to coordinate cannabis deliveries for a dispensary out of the South Bay. (Sam Gangwer, Orange County Register)

Working with weed: Meet a delivery coordinator

Sky Siegel manages driver operations at Sweetwood Collective, one of the many weed jobs available for those looking for a career in the fast-growing cannabis industry

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Growing up in Newport Beach, Sky Siegel was taught that only “stoners and losers” used marijuana.

In 2012, he had surgery for a back injury and ended up on a cocktail of painkillers.

“I wasn’t myself,” recalled Siegel, now 30 and living in Costa Mesa. “I was in a terrible funk.”

Then he discovered a couple of medical marijuana dispensaries in Orange County with budtenders who seemed to really know their products and care about dispensing it as medicine. They helped him find strains of cannabis that allowed him to wean off opioids and get his life back.

Both of his favorite pot shops were shuttered over the past few years as local cities cracked down on marijuana retailing. But Siegel stayed in touch with the owners and learned of their plans to launch a delivery service out of Manhattan Beach. Soon, he left a decade-long career in sales and management for wireless phone companies so he could manage driver operations at Sweetwood Collective, one of the many weed jobs now available.

Now, when he’s not dabbling in acting, Siegel oversees a team that coordinates marijuana deliveries for patients throughout the South Bay who order from EazeUp.com. He trains drivers so they understand safety protocol and the products they’re carrying. And he works with growers and manufacturers to ensure that he’s delivering the best products in this rapidly evolving industry.

Siegel’s friends have been supportive. So has his grandma. But, when he spoke to the Register, his mom didn’t yet know what he did for a living. And other family members just don’t understand.

“They say, ‘I can’t believe you’re doing this, Sky. There are other ways to make money,’” he said.

Coordinating deliveries is about more than making a living for him, he tells them. It’s about making safe medicine accessible to seniors in chronic pain, parents whose children suffer from epilepsy and anyone bedridden with injuries, as he was four years ago.

“It’s got me fired up,” he said.

What does it take to become a delivery driver?

When Sky Siegel is hiring drivers to deliver medical marijuana for his dispensary, here are some of the qualities he looks for:

• The driver must be a medical marijuana patient and a member of the collective they’re delivering for.

• They need to have reliable transportation that they’re OK with putting a lot of miles on.

• They need to have good customer service and communication skills.

• They need to be willing to learn about medical marijuana products and be comfortable answering questions about them.

• They need to be reliable about getting patients their medicine without needing to be micromanaged while out on the road.

Contact the writer: 714-796-7963 or bstaggs@ocregister.com

This story was first published on OCRegister.com