On June 25, Catalina Hills Care, a marijuana dispensary, opened in Oro Valley.
Currently, the facility has 25 different strains of marijuana, which are used to treat medical conditions ranging from cancer and glaucoma to HIV and AIDS.
The dispensary is owned by four families. One of those owners is Tucsonan Mohit “Moe” Asnani. In February of last year, the bidding and lottery process began for dispensaries that could be opened in Tucson. The families set their sights on the location in Oro Valley, which was zoned in a location next to a grocery store, where others in the state are required to be next to auto-body and pawn shops or in areas zoned for industrial.
On August 7, they won the bid and are now currently open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 12152 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd., #C-140.
“Oro Valley is obviously a premier community and we wanted to cater to that market,” Asnani said. “We have a selection of strains that are not just kine [more potent than regular marijuana], but are the best quality.”
On opening day, nearly 30 people came through the door to get their prescriptions filled, all while being in an area surrounded by restaurants, a grocery store and health centers.
“Oro Valley is the only one [in Tucson] that lets you go into a safe, commercial plaza where there are other businesses. With that, it is premier because the town allows it.”
Asnani said patients have come in boasting about how they can shop next door for their groceries, and then stop by and have their prescription filled.
The conditions a person would receive: a medical marijuana card are cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis C, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, along with debilitation conditions such as severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures and muscle spasms.
Once in the facility, an employee like Ana Helber who is the dispensary manager, will talk with a patient about their conditions and issues and then picks out a strain that will best suit them. The strains consist of three different categories; sativa, which is likely to give a person an energetic feeling, indica, which is likely to make a person feel sleepy or relaxed, and the third category, which is a hybrid, which is a combination of sativa and indica strains.
The prices for products at Catalina Hills Care are comparable to other facilities, which can be paid for using cash or with a debit card. For the most common amount purchased, which is an eighth of an ounce, prices range from $55 to $75.
Dispensaries can get medical marijuana through either patients or caregivers who are authorized to cultivate marijuana and who donate it to the dispensary or from another dispensary that is authorized to cultivate can sell its product at a wholesale price.
Currently, Catalina Hills Care gets its product from patients and caregivers throughout Arizona, but is in the process of getting and cultivation facility to better control the production.
Due to gray area within the local laws, Catalina Hills Care currently does not offer other products that contain the medicinal qualities that marijuana has, such as oils, lotions or products such as baked goods.
For more information, visit Catalina Hills Care’s website at CatalinaHillsCare.com.