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6/20/2013 6:01:00 AM
'Our patients are very diverse'
Marijuana dispensary quietly opens Kingman location
Bud Tender Natisha Lopez talks to patient Don Burt Jr. Tuesday at Kingman Green Medical Dispensary, which quietly opened its doors recently.
Bud Tender Natisha Lopez talks to patient Don Burt Jr. Tuesday at Kingman Green Medical Dispensary, which quietly opened its doors recently.
Medical marijuana is sold in many forms, including in bottles similar to what pharmacists use.
Medical marijuana is sold in many forms, including in bottles similar to what pharmacists use.

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - The Kingman Green Medical Dispensary quietly opened without fanfare a few weeks ago and the former chiropractor's office on Northern Avenue became an immediate destination for scores of valid medical marijuana cardholders who live in the region.

Beginning in early July, those cardholders who find it difficult to get around can take advantage of a home delivery service.

According to Manager Joel Williams, it is too early to estimate how many of the dispensary's patients fall into this category, but many of them are confined to wheelchairs or are otherwise relatively immobile, he said.

Older Patients

Contrary to public perception, between 75 and 80 percent of Kingman Green's medical marijuana patients are on the north side of 50.

A significant number of them, said Williams, have been forced to stop taking pharmaceuticals because of organ damage caused by long-term use.

They have turned to medical marijuana to treat their symptoms and, according to Williams, they find the dispensary a blessing.

"Medical marijuana literally saves their lives," said Williams. "They can come here where it's safe and private."

Williams said the older demographic for medical marijuana patients in Mohave County reflects the county's population as a whole.

"I think the fact there are a lot of retired people here pushes that average up, compared to say, Phoenix," said Williams.

All Walks of Life

Age and the fact they all have a card is where the similarities end, said Williams.

"Our patients are very diverse," he said. "We've got people in law enforcement, teachers, attorneys. We even have one guy who's (a member of the clergy). Blue collar, white collar, and a lot of retired folks."

Williams was semi-retired himself when his attorney recommended he get into Arizona's medical marijuana services.

"I was against it at the time voters approved medical marijuana," he said. Williams said he hasn't smoked marijuana in more than 35 years and was skeptical of its touted benefits.

"At first, I was attracted because it was an intriguing business to start with, but then it grew into the whole concept of helping people once I saw the legitimacy of the medicine," said Williams.

Williams manages dispensaries in Lake Havasu City, Ft. Mohave, Parker and Yuma along with Kingman Green. He also owns Herbal Remedies, a service that helps people obtain their medical marijuana card.

"I call it the Green Consortium," he said. "People who come in or we deliver to can choose a strain from any dispensary."

The Process

There's more to it than simply wanting to get high so you feel better, according to Williams, who estimates he's helped about 1,500 Arizonans obtain their card since the state implemented the law 18 months ago.

"You don't need a prescription from a doctor," said Williams, "but we do need your medical records that provide a diagnosis that qualifies for a card under state law."

Qualifying conditions include cancer, AIDS, hepatitis C, seizures, chronic pain, nausea and glaucoma.

Prospective cardholders must provide their medical records and meet with a doctor under contract with Herbal Remedies, and that doctor has to corroborate the patient meets the criteria.

It costs $150 for the card, which must be renewed annually. Williams charges an additional $138 for issuing the card and for the physician checkup.

Different Weeds, Different Needs

The marijuana that's for sale can be purchased by the gram or in edible form. The minimum cost for one ounce of marijuana is $160, said Williams, but there is no requirement to buy that much.

"That you have to buy a minimum of one ounce is another misperception about this business," he said. "You can even buy a pre-rolled cone."

A cone is a marijuana cigarette.

There are more strains of marijuana available than there are ways to ingest it, and Williams said the wide selection is necessary because patients with different conditions desire different results.

There are two major strains of marijuana, said Williams: Indica and sativa. Indica helps with pain, anxiety and insomnia, he said, while sativa helps manage pain and provide energy.

"I guess you could say indica is a downer and sativa is an upper," said Williams.

Out of these two strains derive hundreds of substrains, said Williams, and each of them has a specific effect on patients.

Employees called "bud tenders" are marijuana experts able to advise patients on what strain would best address their specific issues.

"That's another benefit," said Williams. "On the street you never know what you're getting, but here we can help you pinpoint what would help you the most."

The marijuana sold by the dispensaries is tested by a company called Med Labs in Phoenix. The firm tests the tetrahydrocannabinol content, commonly referred to as THC, in the buds and also looks for pesticides.

People who don't want to smoke medical marijuana can buy it in edible form, including brownies, cookies, lollipops, hot sauce and salad dressing. Williams said there is a marijuana-based skin cream available as well as tinctures.

"They can come in knowing nobody gets into the dispensary if they don't have a card," said Williams. "They get a private consultation with a trained bud tender and they are safe and secure. That's a huge benefit."

For more information on the medical marijuana program or to make an appointment, call Kingman Green at (928) 692-0000.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Article comment by: @ Kill Bill

I too am a retired LEO from California. Did you drink alcoholic beverages (off duty of course) when you were an active police officer? Did the fact that you consumed alcoholic beverages impact your decisions while performing your duties? Let's not be silly of course not. Why do you feel cannabis users are any different?

Of course there are law enforcement officers out there who use cannabis. Unfortunately these officers would be fired if their agencies found out about their cannabis use even when such use was in full compliance with their state laws.

Heck, LEO management oftentimes fires officers for simply supporting legislation to legalize the drug. Unbelievable and wrong, but true.

There certainly exist a percentage of patients who will unlawfully redistribute their medications as (with any drug including booze). The vast majority of medical cannabis patients, as with alcohol users, do not. Criminal predators in the black market on the other hand well that is a whole different equation.

The rest of your post makes more sense.

Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Article comment by: Bill Kill Jr

There is a plain and simple lie in this report. Williams says he has Law Enforcement as clients. This is a straight out falsification! I suppose a Law Enforcement Officer could legally get a medical marijuana card, but there is no way any Law Enforcement Agency would allow said Law Enforcement Officer to remain employed as a Law Enforcement Officer due to the plain and simple fact this would affect their decision making and if it were ever brought up in court they would be simply discredited. As a Law Enforcment Officer myself and previously employed in California these medical marijuana clubs are simply used as a place for sellers to legally purchase the marijuana to sell on the street to the local users and youth. The doctors are going to issue the cards as long as they are getting the $$ for them they don't care about your cancer or stubbed toe!

I am with many Law Enforcement Officers who wish they would just legalize marijuana. There are already laws in place to deal with driving under the influence and they can make open containers for marijuana illegal to help prevent the marijuana DUI's.

Legalizing marijuana will safe governments money as well! Just think of the taxes we can collect on it too! Great money making opportunity for the federal government and local governments alike!

Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Come On!

@ Tony Wise

Ok. I do agree that the way this world is going is not good. However... to think that just because this place opened up that there will be more deaths and robberies is just plain ignorant. Those who are abusing marijuana, already ARE abusing marijuana! Weed is a pretty simple thing for someone to get their hands on. I have seen marijuana be a HUGE help to a family member who had stomach cancer. This person was able to eat and hold it down...actually sleep...and it help him through his chemo treatments. There will ALWAYS be those who abuse drugs... sad to say...BUT TRUE!! Most are going to honestly need this medication. However as with any medicines, there will be abuse.

Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Article comment by: My view

I was injured over thirty years ago serving MY COUNTRY.Upper body Muscular-Skeletal-Nerve Damage. My doctors prescribed many different drugs with bad side affects. So they give me another pill for that side affect which in turn causes another side affect and another pill. My body said no more. I became very ill. They tried reducing the medications but found out that 1 med Oxycodone had changed my digestive system.(like an alcoholic's body adapts to live with it in the body) My digestive system will not function correctly with out Oxycodone. They gave me Omeprazole only to realize that I have Osteoporosis of the Spine
(from long term use of another medication) so it made the Osteoporosis worse. The list of side affects I have from PRESCRIBED medications is too long to list in this comment. But I can tell you I would have said no to the PRESCRIBED medications and tried this alternative if it was available 30 years age.

Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Article comment by: Common Sense

I'm no doctor but it appears no one else on here is either. I have never used marijuana and have no intentions of it. Like V S i have problems with the "card mills" and "dispensaries" If it is for medical purposes, why do we have special places to get it. Why not just make it like other prescription drugs? If you truly need it for medical reasons, go to a doctor and get a prescription and then get it filled at a pharmacy, just like we do with other pain medications. Maybe that isn't possible for some reason, but it seems like a simple solution. I get the felling from what I read and hear that about anyone can go in and get a "card" and if all the pro people are correct, it is worshipped by doctors for centuries so they should have no problem prescribing it.

Posted: Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Leec Speaking

@anonymous anonymous

So make sure when you are diagnosed with cancer you refuse all modern methods of treatment. Go with "natural" medications. And as a last resort you can fly to the Philippines and have someone magical remove any "tumors" from you. I am reminded of my sister. She annoyed family members for years yakking about holistic medecine. When she got cancer she dropped all that BS in about a minute and a half.

Average life expectancy in the 1700's was about 47 years. Guess all of those plant based folk medicines did not help much


Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

Possible side effects of aspirin...
black, bloody, or tarry stools coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds severe nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain fever lasting longer than 3 days swelling, or pain lasting longer than 10 days or hearing problems, ringing in your ears.Less serious side effects may include:
upset stomach, heartburn drowsiness or headache. This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur.

Big deal...blanket liability statements.

"I've worked with young people over the years who started on marijuana ALWAYS, then on to cocaine, heroin, anything thing they could get into their systems."

I've known/worked with hundreds of people who used marijuana, mostly experimentation when they were younger. Many stopped using it just because they didn't like it (myself included) and didn't go on to other drugs. I was a Drug and Alcohol Advisor in the military and never had a person who got in trouble from pot use, even when you didn't automatically get kicked out. Alcohol on the other hand...whoa baby! In my teen years...none of those I knew grew up to be addicts. Farmers, car dealers, USAF soccer players, semi-pro football dead addicts though.

Most addicts started out on or used pot along with all their other drugs...part of the lifestyle. Bet they drank alcohol and smoked cigs as well. Lets blame that.

If it helps problem. What I do have a problem with is the "card mills" where you pay a fee and walk out with a card. Also the "dispensaries". If someone is unable to grow their own due to illness or infirmness, then they should be able to buy at NEAR COST from a legally operated not for profit farm, licensed and inspected.

Posted: Monday, June 24, 2013
Article comment by: Nay Mama

Looks like we need a lesson here about Aleve.
Aleve is Naproxen or Naporsyn as a prescription.
Naproxen was originally made to help with women's menstrual cramps. During studies they found that in SOME people it acted as a NSAID/Anti-inflammatory and that is how they started to package it especially when it went over-the-counter as Aleve.
I am one of the people that can NOT take Naproxen as an anti-inflammatory, but when a doctor had me try it, once a month I didn't have cramps.
Aleve does NOT help everyone and you can't put a blanket statement out like that when you don't know all the facts.

Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2013
Article comment by: Just Kicked The Pain Meds

For 10 years I was on pain meds. Every year my Doctor would increase the strength and amount I took. When I lost 60 pounds, per his instructions, instead of cutting me down he just gave me more. Meanwhile, my kidneys and liver were paying for it. So I changed Doctors. And the first thing he does is try to give me more. When I told them I was going to quit, just go cold turkey. I was told it would kill me. Well it didn't. I still have pain, I will never get better, only worse. But at least with marijuana I don't have to worry about ruining my liver. The sheriff lied about how most of the card holders are kids. Its the 50 to 70 group. Those of us that worked thru the pain. I still work. But now I'm not all doped out on oxycodone. I take my "medicine" after work. Ironically, I now have the energy and clear head to pay more attention to my family. Drug companies do not make cures, they make customers. Remember, their in it for profits.

Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2013
Article comment by: Jay Fleming

RE: Aleve it's an NSAID they kill 14000 a year, and the hospitalization of 100,000 more. Marijuana hasn't killed anyone.

Posted: Sunday, June 23, 2013
Article comment by: Al DiCicco

very interesting video. Woman uses raw cannabis juice to replace 40 meds.

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Article comment by: tony wise

once a pot head always a pot head. just wait till the accidents and deaths go up because of people being high. kick the place out of Kingman. Somebodies pockets are going to be lined with money. Shameful what this world has become. May God forgive this world for the way it has become. I guess the robberies will go up to support the potheads.

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Ya

@ Pickett

Can't I simply go in ans ask for a half a dozen "Blunts"? How about "Joints"?

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

All medicines are made from plants or their based on such, in another time folks who did herbal medicine often were accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake, guess we still have those burn them at the stake mentality folks in existence today! If it has a medical benefit to anyone I say let them have it! Ignoring the sick is not going to be viewed well when one meets Jesus!

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Article comment by: N A

If you use marijuana, you are a druggy that's all there is to it, don't give me these made up facts. This stuff make a person sluggish.

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“You got pain, take ALEVE.”
Hmm, let’s look at the side-effects of Aleve - chest pain, weakness, shortness of breath, slurred speech, problems with vision or balance - black, bloody, or tarry stools – coughing up blood or vomit that looks like coffee grounds - swelling or rapid weight gain - urinating less than usual or not at all - nausea, upper stomach pain, skin or eyes) - bruising, severe tingling, numbness, pain, muscle weakness - fever, headache, neck stiffness, chills, increased sensitivity to light, purple spots on the skin, and/or seizure (convulsions) - severe skin reaction -- fever, sore throat, swelling in your face or tongue, burning in your eyes, skin pain, followed by a red or purple skin rash that spreads (especially in the face or upper body) and causes blistering and peeling - upset stomach, mild heartburn or stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation - bloating, gas dizziness, headache, nervousness - skin itching or rash –blurred vision or ringing in the ears.

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Article comment by: Another Thought

@ take one

"You got pain, take ALEVE. Its not Addictive."

Cannabis isn't addictive either!

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Truth Matters:

I've worked with young people over the years who started on marijuana ALWAYS, then on to cocaine, heroin, anything thing they could get into their systems. I know nine personally that died. Almost all under 21.

The unbelievable damage and devastation done to families and addicts by the addicts just starting with that simple little non harming marijuana is pandemic. Nearly every last addict starts with marijuana, bar none. This is an evil joke that it is legal here now.

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013
Article comment by: Darrell Johnson

at 60 years old i have never been at a party with people smoking pot, fighting. but add booze and they wanna kill each other. but i have seen a large run on ho twinkies and ding dongs

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013
Article comment by: miss inform you kingman

Please educate yourself on issues. Marijuana is a miracle. Proven medical results since the beginning of recorded medicine. It has the power to heal every part of your body. Mind and soul. It is safer than pharmaceuticals and it saves lives. I am regretful of the closed minded and obviously pain free people, that assume the things in films such as "Reefer Madness" are real. Pigeon holing yourself into ignorance will never help your cause. For fifty years doctors and scientist have been raving about medical marijuana and its benefits to a number of ailments. Now, if my M.S. stops hurting me, and I on occasion forget where my keys are, I am good with that. I am not good with ignorance running rampant in my town, polluting the county with your lack of knowledge on the subject. So anytime you want, just google the history of Medical Marijuana and go to some credible sources. The New England Journal of Medicine, and Harvard Medical are a couple of great places for you to start. Godspeed.

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013
Article comment by: Pickett

The correct words to use instead of strain is "varieties" and "hybrids." A strain is a reference to a clone, bacteria, or a virus and the word "strain" is only appropriate to use when you are using them in context with one another. You can name a type of cannabis anything you want but the phenotype will always be different depending on who grows it, so if bob is growing in hydroponics and bill is growing in soil but they have the same cut (clone or variety) of the same strain the resulting phenotype of medicine that they produce will be significantly different to the point where they will have different names, once a plant gets past the clone phase of life it is no longer considered a strain.

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013
Article comment by: Am I Missing Something

This is supposed to be a medical situation. What's up with the names and faces of the patients? I realize that this is not FDA approved but they are operating under the guise of practicing medicine.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: take one

You got pain, take ALEVE. Its not Addictive.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Lynne Holdsworth

I think it's great that the people who need this service can get it here in Kingman. I personally don't need this service, but I'm really glad that's this option is available here in Kingman if ever I should need it.

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Truth Matters

Desert Dweller - Were not in the 80s anymore marijuana is NOT BAD. In fact there are so many reports that cigarettes kill people and what, marijuana causes memory loss? Oh please

No death ever from this simple plant

For anyone who believes this please understand that even Mcdonalds foods causes more harm

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