If the customer is always right, then The Apothecary, recently ranked in a patient survey as Tucson's number one medical marijuana dispensary, has a lot going for it.
Immediately noticeable upon entering, The Apothecary has a spacious, well-lit lobby, reminiscent of a doctor's office, where patients are buzzed in before being led to a showroom. There, a vast array of medical marijuana products are displayed—from the 14 different strains of THC and CBD concentrates to dozens of edible options like cookies, peanut butter bars, chocolates, tea, coffee, and gummies.
Six staffers make up The Apothecary, each trained to educate patients and help match their symptoms to a suitable and effective strain.
Owner Bryan Hill says since The Apothecary opened on Aug. 20, 2013, it has continued to gain a positive reputation in an industry that is both new and evolving.
"It's the crushing of the stigmas," says Hill, whose interest in the field was thanks in part to his father, who as an oncologist studied the positive effects medical marijuana has on cancer.
"There used to be so much fear about what marijuana was," says Hill. "We get to help people and turn that perception around, and that's a really cool thing."
The Apothecary is evolving right alongside the industry, and has seen some major changes as recently as Oct. 7, when the Town of Marana Council authorized medical marijuana delivery and expanded hours, both of which Hill says his business will take advantage of.
That means offering improved access both on site and for those who prefer or would benefit from delivery, such as those who may be immobile or disabled, Hill says.
Soon, prices are also likely to drop because The Apothecary is in the process of establishing its own grow, the first harvest of which is slated to be ready in two to three months time.
"We're excited about it," says Hill. "We can control our costs that way, we know what's going into the product, and we can pass that quality on to the patient. We are going to have some really great stuff—strains that haven't shown up in Arizona yet."
The Apothecary, like many dispensaries around town, sees a broad spectrum of clients. While demographically the majority of medical marijuana cardholders in Arizona are older than 50, Hill says there isn't much uniformity in who visits the dispensary.
"We get people of all levels," he says. "What we try to do here is create an atmosphere—both with the staff and the customers—that this is a comfortable place to come. We want to make the environment one that is a premium retail experience at a place that happens to sell cannabis. Customer service comes first for us."
Seeing customers benefit from cannabis is also where the reward comes in, Hill adds.
"It may not sound like much, but when someone comes in an says they got their first full night's sleep in five years, that's good to hear," he says. "Cannabis won't cure hepatitis or HIV, but it will allow you to live with a better quality of life."
The Apothecary is located 6205 N. Travel Center Dr. A list of inventory can be found on the company website at http://apothecarytucson.com/. The Apothecary can also be found on social media as well as weedmaps.com.