Arizona's first cannabis kitchen opens in Tucson
The state’s first cannabis kitchen has opened in Tucson providing a variety of edible products to a local marijuana dispensary.
State inspectors approved the Heavenly Harvest store Thursday, which will provide edibles and infused products to a marijuana dispensary known as The Green Halo.
Currently, the state is in the process of approving kitchens and dispensaries. Four dispensaries have been approved in Arizona one of which is The Green Halo. Heavenly Harvest is the only kitchen that has gotten approval to make edibles.
“I think there is a perception, a mind frame about what medical marijuana is and as a registered nurse, I have seen patients coming off of hard prescription medicine through the use of cannabis,” said Heather Manus, registered nurse and executive director of edibles and infused products for The Green Halo. “I don’t advocate smoking necessarily, but I would like to see more edibles and infused products going on the market, so patients have those options.”
Both the kitchen and dispensary are located on Wilmot Road, just off Interstate 10. The edible and infused medicine line officially went on sale Saturday and includes a variety of items such as ointments, brownies, cookies and candy, to name a few.
“I think that it is a good idea just because the people who have cards need it for their own personal reasons,” said Molly Baker, journalism sophomore. “I don’t think it would increase illegal use.”
Manus also added that edible medicines provide an extra appeal for those patients who prefer not to smoke.
“There is a stereotype about patients who smoke marijuana, so if somebody needs to be able to medicate and doesn’t want to smell like smoke, this gives a wider range of options for patients,” Manus said. “This way, [the patients] can either be discreet or feel more comfortable. Some elderly clients feel more comfortable using an ointment to put directly on their skin.”
Some students said they believe providing marijuana for medical reasons shouldn’t be an issue.
“I don’t think there is anything wrong with Arizona’s first commercial cannabis kitchen becoming approved,” said Alicia Scofield, elementary education junior. “If people need it for a medical reason, they shouldn’t be prohibited.”
The process of getting approved by the state has been a long time coming, according to Manus.
“This is literally a dream come true for me. There is a huge amount of patients in Arizona that can be touched by the medical cannabis,” Manus said. “My whole purpose is to help as many patients as possible, so they can have access to this kind of medicine and I feel really good about administrating this kind of medication to patients.”