Business Stoked At Payson Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Uncle Herbs’ customers sampling edible products

The medical marijuana dispensary in Payson has attracted about 50 customers a day, many of whom want the baked goods.

The medical marijuana dispensary in Payson has attracted about 50 customers a day, many of whom want the baked goods. Photo by Alexis Bechman. |

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It’s been six months since northern Gila County’s only medical marijuana dispensary opened and the owners report things are going well, so well they are planning to expand their line of edible products and sell their own in-house pot soon.

Uncle Herbs has been selling marijuana grown by other dispensaries while its plants took root at 200 N. Tonto St.

“Since we are currently purchasing from other dispensaries at this time and have to pay top dollar for all of our medicine, some of that cost does unfortunately gets passed onto the patient, just like any other product you would buy,” said Tiffany Young, Uncle Herbs co-owner. “Our grow is up and going and we will be able to cut costs once we have our initial harvest.”

Under Arizona law, cardholders are allowed to purchase up to 2.5 ounces every two weeks from a dispensary. It can be in the form of marijuana flowers or mixed into edible products, such as brownies or ice cream — a top seller at Uncle Herbs. Its edibles have been so popular in fact Uncle Herbs is selling them statewide to other dispensaries.

“We are working on developing new products every week,” Young said. “Every part of our operation works off of another; with our garden, wholesale, kitchen and wholesale operation, we certainly have our hands full.”

Products include hard candy, gummies, crackers, butter and honey. New to the product lineup are gluten free and sugar free options.

And there isn’t just one strain of marijuana offered. A dispensary is like a donut shop in that it offers dozens of varieties of flavors to fit different tastes.

Uncle Herbs currently offers 20 strains.

Cardholders can buy marijuana from dispensaries once meeting the requirements for a card. They must show a doctor they have a qualifying condition, such as chronic pain or cancer.

In Arizona, the majority of cardholders complain of chronic pain, an umbrella term for a swath of ailments, such as arthritis, degenerative disk disease, fibromyalgia and individuals who have experienced bodily trauma.

Of the 50 walk-in customers Uncle Herbs gets each day, the vast majority are local residents. And on average are males 50 years and older, Young said.

Asked what they are buying, Young said the demand is across the board.

“Every patient is different, for example, some patients who are not able to smoke for health purposes, prefer edibles or tinctures. Others who prefer a more immediate relief prefer smoking or vaporizing.”

It costs $5 for a joint and $65 for an eighth of “top shelf” medicine.

So far, Uncle Herbs has had little kickback from the state or town, according to its operators. It recently passed an inspection from the Department of Health Services and has received a “great response” from the community. “We continue to be amazed by the volume of work it takes to be where we are today.”

Comments

Pat Randall 6 months, 1 week ago

Makes me so proud of my home town to be the place my kids moved to get their kids away from drugs in Mesa and Gilbert where they were raised. Also proud of The Roundup for all the free advertising they give to the 'drug' shop in town. When is the first child going to die from eating the cakes, cookies or ice cream that comes from there?

If you think I am serious with the first two sentences, you have visited the drug shop once to many times already.

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Barbara Rasmussen 6 months, 1 week ago

What does the statement "little kick back from the state or town" pertain to? How much money has gone into the town's and county coffers from their business? Is this a for profit business or is it under the auspices of a 501 C? I still have to wonder where the people get the kind of money that it costs to get a card and then buy the products.

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Pat Randall 6 months, 1 week ago

If it is really considered medicine the town is not collecting sales tax. I believe when this all started the owners said it was going to be non profit they just wanted to help people. The people that are buying it are probably getting the money from us thru one of the free medical deals. If they are in such pain they aren't working. Right?

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Meria Heller 6 months, 1 week ago

A 73 yr old veteran finally got help for his seizures which the VA couldn't help...stop being judgmental here folks, prescription drugs kill one person every 19 minutes. Latest nationwide study proves that states where cannabis is legal had a minimum of 10% drop in suicides. Anti-depressants? The "side effects" are suicidal thoughts. Be happy for people (article shows over 50) are getting relief their doctors couldn't give them. Pray you never need it, you may have to change your mind. Your "kids" are doing heroin because it's way cheaper...

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Pat Randall 6 months, 1 week ago

Meria, We are asking questions and stating our opinions which is our right to do. According to your nationwide studies how many people die from illegal drugs every 19 minutes? Either self inflicted or by someone on drugs?

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Meria Heller 6 months, 1 week ago

Self inflicted. Read the "side effects" which aren't side effect, they are effects of the drug. Congress is finally pushing Obama thanks to his recent interview in Rolling Stone to classify cannabis as a legal drug. Millions have been wasted incarcerating people, lives ruined for a victimless crime. Of course it's everyone's right to state their opinion, but there are many facts available if one is willing to do the research. Don't know about you, but I'm not proud of our country being #1 in people incarcerated in the whole world. The cost to the taxpayer is $40,000 and up per inmate. We are BROKE. Our schools and children could use that money way better.

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Barbara Rasmussen 6 months, 1 week ago

Meria: I do not care about what they say Marijuana can help with. The true fact is that it can not cure any disease or condition and people these days are too easily diagnosed with depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, and migraine headaches and supposedly marijuana helps them cope and treats their symptoms? Well all it does is deaden their senses and they are in a state of euphoria. I have a condition Familial Hemiplegic Migraines and when I have one come on it mimics a massive stroke. The pain is intense and the symptoms last for days. Not once have I ever thought about using medical marijuana for this condition or the many others that i have that easily would make me an ideal candidate for it. As far as I am concerned, and this is my opinion it is a gateway drug. It is still illegal to grow or possess by Federal Laws. I am against it being legalized in anyway shape manner or form.

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Meria Heller 6 months ago

How do you know the oil wouldn't work for your migraines? Have you ever gotten a prescription drug that worked for them? I suffer them as well, and nothing medicine has works. If the voters passed medical marijuana everyone needs to be okay with it. It's everyone's personal choice whether to use it or not. Yet, so many blindly take drugs their "doctors" prescribe even those with clearly marked side effects as "Instant death". Federal law is changing as they have learned prohibition and their war on drugs is a huge failure.

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Ronald Hamric 6 months, 1 week ago

Ms. Heller, I would think that like most of us you have had an occasion to avail yourself of the Medical Profession. The fact is, that doctors have always been able to prescribe whatever drug, cannibas, narcotics, etc. if they felt it was warranted for their patients. If you don't believe that, simply Google "Brompton's Cocktail. You won't find a more addictive, potent mixture in all of medicine and I personally had a fellow firefighter that was prescribed that due to his bone cancer pain. I would not deny anyone the right to do take whatever drug might help them with an affliction they may have. What I do take exception with is the sham approach of using "Medical Marijuana" as a foot in the door to full legalization. We are not stupid, so quit thinking we don't see through this. As I have stated before on this subject, I'm in favor or removing the restrictions on ALL illicit drugs whatever they are. Make them cheap, readily available, and as potent as possible. In about five years, based on this nation's past and current drug experience, we will soon be rid of the larger drug problem. There are literally millions of Hoffman's out there and given the time and opportunity, they too will meet a similar fate. I dealt with these folks during my career and almost to a person they would tell you that their first drug was "pot". Now not everyone who experiments with pot becomes an addict to harder drugs. That too is a fact. But to imply it is not a "gateway drug" for the many who are now on hard drugs is simply ignorance of the true state of drug abuse. People can jump off cliffs for fun (base jumping), or jump out of perfectly good airplanes (skydiving), and they are free to take the path of drug abuse. I'm okay with all those choices, just DO NOT come to me with your sad story when things go really bad and want me to pay for the solution to the results of your personal choices. Fair enough?

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Meria Heller 6 months ago

Absolutely. Freedom means freedom. If someone wants to drink themselves to death, or drug to death - it's their business. The war on drugs has cost billions, solved nothing and ruined many families lives. I'm all for treatment if someone wants it. You worked in the system, you thus know that anything you want is available in jail if you can afford it. Back in my day jails were "rehabilitation" centers. That's gone.

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Pat Randall 6 months ago

My choice of pain killer is Tylenol sometimes once a day and I am sure I hurt as much or much more than some of the customers at Herbs. Drs. have tried to give me all the legal prescription drugs and as far as I am concerned they are just as bad and will get you thrown in jail as fast as illegal drugs. All they do is drug me or I have a bad reaction to them and still have the pain. I have all kinds of injuries and old age problems with my back and legs. Today is one of the bad ones. I can't walk because of the pain. I did have a Dr. that gave me a shot in the back once a year and it was tolerable. Now he won't do it without an MRI and I can't have one because I have a pacemaker to keep my heart beating right. He could do the shot with a cat scan, but drs are all protecting themselves from being sued. My high blood pressure is caused by stress. It is also uncontrolled. Try not to be stressed when you are in pain and can't do anything. Do you all really want to be on the highway with a bunch of people on any kind of legal or illegal drugs that impair their driving? I think I see at least 20 of them anytime I have to drive anywhere in Payson and it is getting worse. OK maybe that is my vent for the day and maybe not.

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Meria Heller 6 months ago

Sorry to hear that Pat. You do say your drug of choice is Tylenol. Why decide for anyone else? Tylenol has caused deaths in the US, while there are no deaths by cannabis on record. I don't want to argue this anymore, the voters have spoken. I'm truly sorry about your back pain - I use a chiropractor, masseuse and natural remedies when my back is out. Magnesium is great for high blood pressure too. A good naturopathic physician may be able to help you. I hate being on the highway with people on their cell phones which I consider as dangerous as a DUI. We all have our annoyances, but we are one human race and have to start having peaceful calm, compassionate conversations with each other. Hope you feel better soon!

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bam 4 days, 13 hours ago

A heart condition and pacemaker Pat??? I bet you take medication. Denying ANYONE relief from pain is the equivalent to causing their pain. I think it's wonderful that the government is coming out of the stone age, even if some people still cling to it. The world is moving forward and there is no longer a place for politics in medicine. Treatment and medication are subjects for Doctors and patients, not unobjective busy bodies or Bureaucrats. Bam

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