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.”