More than five years after opening the only medical marijuana facility in northern Gila County, Untamed Herbs is ready to grow.
Recently, the company came before Payson’s community development to discuss plans to add a 40,000-square-foot greenhouse facility and increase security at its current location at 200 N. Tonto St.
Founder Andrew Provencio said work should begin the second quarter of 2019 and be completed by the third quarter of 2019.
“We anticipate the total number of employees for the improvements to add 20 to 30 employees in 2019 as we ramp up,” he said. “These jobs will first be offered to current employees with the hiring process of additional employees in the second quarter.”
The expansion is needed in part to keep up with growing demand for the dispensary’s products, including cannabidiol or CBD items.
The dispensary already sees about 4,000 medical marijuana patients monthly. Overall retail sales and the number of patients has increased 20 percent every year, he said.
And last year, CBD sales increased more than 200 percent at Untamed Herbs.
CBD is a compound of the Cannabis sativa plant that does not make a user feel high like THC, but reportedly delivers all the benefits, helping with everything from insomnia and anxiety to arthritis.
Since Provencio’s return to the operation’s management in December 2017, Untamed Herbs has expanded its CBD product line, including Desert AZEE CBD, a national brand.
“There are multiple claims for medical relief made possible with this product. Since the FDA will not allow us to make any claims, we can say this — we source our CBD from United States of America hemp farms. We always use full spectrum oil for all of our product lines except Isolate. Ask for our tests,” Provencio wrote.
Commercialized hemp production has been legal since President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill.
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a cannabidiol-based drug called Epidiolex as a treatment for severe forms of epilepsy — the first government-sanctioned medical use for CBD.
At Untamed Herbs, products include neuropathy salve; tinctures; CBD vape pens; gel caps; lip balm; gummies and soon, topical face serum and CBD pre-rolls.
There is also a line of CBD pet products.
“We are in the planning phase for a CBD store in Payson at the corner of Main Street and Highway 87 in the log building. It will be called the Payson CBD Outpost & General Store,” said Provencio, who is president of Desert Medical Campus, which owns the operation.
While expansion plans are in the works, the company recently went ahead and changed its name. The original Uncle Herbs name was dropped for Untamed Herbs.
“We felt it better described our community and our vision of having a wild, natural organic venue reflecting the town of Payson and our customers,” Provencio said. “We kept our Uncle Herbs infused product line that sells in more than 60 dispensaries throughout Arizona.”
There were some concerns Provencio would move the dispensary to the Valley, but so far, the dispensary is staying put.
“We are committed to maintaining a strong presence in Payson,” he said. “We invested more than a million dollars in equipment in 2018, staff training and improvements.”
Provencio recently signed on new business partners, which will invest $4 million into the grow and extraction facility in the next six months.
“We love our Payson customers and always try to provide the best, safe medicine available.”
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