Walking into The Green Halo is like walking into a dream—a well-appointed dream stocked with a broad array of medications in various forms to meet your every need.
It's like a poppy field leading to Oz, but there's no snow to put you to sleep and no flying monkeys. The Green Halo is all Glenda the Good Witch and Lollipop Guild.
Finding Tucson's only walk-in dispensary is super-easy. It's about 200 yards south of Interstate 10 on Wilmot Road. That seems like a bit of a haul for town folk, but since it's right next to the interstate, it's a trade-off. It's only about a 15-minute trip from downtown. I'm going to say they picked an excellent spot. Easy in; easy out. They close earlier than the caregivers where I usually get meds, but I don't have to call Green Halo to see if they're home. If it's between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m., they're home.
Be advised—when you go to Green Halo, your every move is being captured on security cameras. I couldn't care less who shoots video of me; some folks might not like that. Nonetheless, the staff is checking you out before you get inside.
The first thing you notice as you walk up is a huge sign on the door: No cameras, no smoking, no weapons. Check, check, check. Hitting the intercom gets you a cheerful welcome and a buzzer for entry.
The waiting room—expanded at the last minute to allow access to the restroom—is clean, tidy and outfitted with a few comfy chairs and a big red-leather couch. A bank-style window separates the staff from the patients they serve, and there is a sort of overflow waiting room with more seating. There is no need for magazines (though there are some), since the walls are covered with posters offering information about cannabis. There is plenty to read, including an extensive chart showing which cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBN) are good for what ailments. There is a large copy of the U.S. government's patent for medical cannabinoids. Interesting, since the same government claims cannabis has no medical value.
After a brief wait, the staff buzzes you through an interior door into the inner chamber. The articulate guy who helped me was friendly and informative. He told me (I already knew) that CBD counteracts THC, allowing me to get maximum pain relief with minimum rainbows and fluffy clouds flying through my head.
The selection at the Green Halo is impressive. There were about a dozen strains ranging from heavily sativa to heavily indica. They had a full line of edibles.
Every strain is tested at a lab in Phoenix and labeled with THC, CBD and CBN percentages. This was my second visit to the dispensary. The first time I grabbed a sativa strain with close to 18 percent THC. Yikes—that made me anxious. This time I got Strawberry Blue, a hybrid with about 12 percent THC and more of the other cannabinoids. I like it. My heart isn't racing.
The downside to all of this is prices. Their eighths started at $45 ($12.85/gram) and topped out at $65 ($18.57/gram) last week. The first time I went, I paid $70. They didn't have that top-shelf strain. That's pretty pricey. A caregiver can give you prices around—or even below—$10 per gram.
Other than prices, I couldn't see much to complain about. The Green Halo is fast, easy and convenient, and there's a HUGE selection of everything you need including cakes, cookies, spices, tinctures and candy. They have pipes and vaporizers and storage vessels and more.
Mr. Smith approves, duh.