It seems there's a dispensary out there for every taste these days, and if you're looking for an upscale experience in a good neighborhood with high security, you should check out the Apothecary, off Interstate 10 just south of Orange Grove Road. It seems like a very grown-up place.
From the outside, the Apothecary looks like a light industrial office. It's in a commercial complex just south of the giant RV center at I-10/Orange Grove Road. There is a shit-ton of parking, and the tucked-away location is perfect for folks who don't want to be seen. Your boss is unlikely to drive past and see you walking out. If he does, welllll ... he's probably going to the Apothecary. Hehe.
The typical door buzzer leads into a huge, well-appointed waiting area with a modern, stained-concrete floor. It's bright and stylish, and the furnishings kind of gave me a Pottery Barn feel. Security is unusually tight at the Apothecary—they have 16 cameras in and around the building—so you can feel über-safe.
The one-page registration form took me all of one minute, and I was buzzed into the similarly spacious and upscale product area, which includes a modern-but-warm, wood-topped service counter.
Bud tender Tara pulled out the samples and encouraged me to look and smell but not touch (standard etiquette). The Apothecary's selection could be better, but as with many new dispensaries, they're still ramping up inventory. Once, I glimpsed a world where all Tucson dispensaries had their associated grow ops and kitchens running, and every dispensary was replete with cornucopious cannabis, candies, cookies and cakes ... then I woke up.
The day I went, the Apothecary had 10 strains, with a typical range of indicas and sativas. There are three price tiers—$15/$50/$90 per gram/eighth/quarter; $18/$55/$100; and $20/$60/$110. Everything they sell is lab tested, and they have reports for you to read. Ask the bud tender—lab results aren't posted.
Incidentally, there will likely be a local cannabis testing lab soon, which will make testing much easier for Tucson dispensaries because mailing cannabis for testing is illegal. This is yet another example of local business development associated with cannabis. Mmmm hmmmm.
The Apothecary also has $5 pre-rolls, which is less than most dispensaries charge, but buying pre-rolls is a little like buying hot dogs. You never can be quite certain what's in them.
The Apothecary promises a wider selection as time goes by. They don't have a kitchen and aren't planning one, but they are getting edibles from two kitchens—one local and one out of town. They have a smallish selection of smoking supplies, and they are planning to soon sell vaporizers.
The Apothecary has a pretty zippy Facebook presence. They have a monthly eighth-ounce giveaway for people who FB like them, and if you share them on FB you get 10 extra entries. Incidentally, FB is a huge marketing and networking tool in the emerging cannabis industry. Dispensaries, caregivers, collectives and NORML are all over FB. Always check there when you hear about a new dispensary. Give them some FB love.
All in all, the Apothecary is a win-win-win. They're easy to find; they offer a low-key, grown-up experience that doesn't feel like a smoke shop; and they sell cannabis, duh.
Mr. Smith approves.