A few months ago, I was talking to a friend who was happy to have his new medical-marijuana card, issued by The Man himself, with "authorized to cultivate" written across the bottom in tiny but significant italics.
This friend of mine is an aging hippie artist, among other things. I hope he doesn't mind me calling him that, because I mean it with boundless respect.
"Did you ever imagine, back in the day, that by now, you'd have the state's permission to just grow your own weed?" I asked him.
"No, I didn't," said my grinning friend, who lives in a house wrought by hand from plaster, beams and a few old bottles. "I thought I'd be going down to Circle K and buying it."
Well, my friend, your day has come. You can't get MMJ at Circle K (yet), but you can get it at the Tucson AZ Collective, a cooperative of caregivers, patients and growers that has a wide selection of smokeable, edible and drinkable meds for patient-to-patient exchange.
It would be tough to beat the convenience of the collective, despite its lack of delivery service. The place is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., every day. They take the almighty dollar and credit cards. Though one commenter at LegalMarijuanaDispensary.com couldn't find the place, it is actually very easy: It's tucked in the back of a commercial building on the south side of Broadway Boulevard, just east of the Safeway at Campbell Avenue. It's in the same building as People for Grijalva. The giant cannabis leaf on the sign ensures you are in the right place. Off-street parking (accessed via Norris Avenue just to the west) is a nice touch for discreet MMJ patients: No one can see you coming and going from Broadway.
At first glance, the club interior seems a bit wrong-side-of-the-tracks. The furniture folds, and the sign-in sheet is in a spiral notebook. The hand-written product list at the desk was also in a notebook. I might suggest the owners spruce the place up a bit, get a more-substantial logbook, and perhaps find a table that makes patients feel a little less like they are applying for a credit card on the UA mall. The atmosphere didn't put me off much, though it might send an aging hippie or lawyer or your grandmother looking elsewhere.
I didn't go to the collective to hang out, however. I went for meds and service, which I got in abundance. The three guys who greeted me were friendly and efficient. The single page of paperwork was quickly completed, and they took a picture of my MMJ card for their records.
I was then escorted by two guys into an adjacent, tiny room with two chairs (no table) and a locked cabinet and refrigerator. From the cabinet emerges a cornucopia of MMJ strains, weighed out by eighths of an ounce, in green medication bottles. Varieties include Sour Diesel, Skunk No. 1, Lemon Haze and OG Kush—more than a dozen strains from $45 to $60 per eighth. They had three different strains of hashish. The fridge was stocked with OMG Bold CannaPunch (151 mg of THC per pint, $25), tinctures (22 doses, $45) and butter ($20 for what looked like about a stick). They also have cookies, candy and other edibles.
I left with a $10 piece of chocolate and two strains to smoke ($60 and $50 per eighth).
No, the Tucson AZ Collective isn't Circle K, but I didn't go to get gas. I went for convenient meds I could afford, and my $120 was well spent. I will likely go back.