Nature’s Medicines in Happy Valley is on the rapidly growing list of dual-licensed dispensaries, granting it the ability to conduct medical and recreational marijuana sales, which began Jan. 29.
The dispensary is located on North Seventh Avenue and is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
It took a few days for the dispensary to implement the state-regulated measures to sell recreational marijuana, like special labeling and changing its system to charge the 16% excise tax.
However, the transition was not difficult for Nature’s Medicines, said Jigar Patel, who has served as the dispensary brands’ CEO since January 2019.
Nature’s Medicines also has locations in Central Phoenix as well as Glendale. All the locations received approval the same day. Since recreational sales began, stores have been busy but have been keeping up with the demand, Patel said.
Nature’s Medicines’ slogan states the dispensaries are “where self-care begins.” It prides itself on offering quality, yet affordable products, Patel said.
“We take pride to provide basic medicine at a very reasonable price,” he said.
The dispensaries have some of the Valley’s lowest prices.
Nature’s Medicines offers an “impressive” variety of curated natural cannabis products, selling edibles, strains of flower, as well as concentrates from only its own “celebrated” brands, its website states.
Nature’s Medicines also employs third-party testing to ensure customers receive cannabis that meets its “highest standards” for potency, safety, purity as well as quality, it adds.
However, selling recreational marijuana “comes with more responsibility,” Patel explained.
“As you grow more, you have to be careful on making sure that everything is done right, all your policies, procedures, your product–everything. You have to be tough now.”
This adds more responsibility for its staff but thanks to its “great” management team, everything is always taken care of, he said.
Although it has a dual license, Nature’s Medicines is a medically focused company, Patel said.
State law allows medical patients to forgo the 16% tax and permits the use of Nature’s Medicines delivery service.
The dispensaries prioritize their medical patients by forming separate lines for them and recreational purchasers, Patel said.
That being said, Patel emphasized, “whether you buy recreational or medical, it’s still medicine.”
“It’s exciting times right now throughout the country — an exciting time in the cannabis industry for sure.”
The cannabis market is expected to “blow up” with the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state following the approval of Proposition 207 in November, Patel explained.
However, the dispensary brands’ reach already extends to other recreational markets in states like Michigan and Massachusetts. This helped to ensure that Nature’s Medicines’ Arizona locations were “well prepared” for the transition, Patel explained.
Nature’s Medicines also has medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania, Missouri, Connecticut and Maryland.
Nature’s Medicines is making the most of this potential growth by expanding its edible line, kitchen manufacturing lab as well as production, Patel said.
In addition, around 10 months from now, the dispensary brand will start building another 46,000-square-foot indoor cultivation center, he added.
Patel hoped recreational marijuana would’ve become a reality in Arizona when it appeared on the ballot in 2016, he said. However, when it appeared on the most recent ballot, “this time we knew that it would pass.”
“Stores are busy,” he said. “So, no complaints.”
Patel said his favorite part of working in the cannabis industry is navigating the challenges presented with each passing day.
“Anything that comes in, we don’t take it as a challenge,” he said. “Our people are well capable of handling it.”
—Staff writer Sarah Donahue
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