Dispensary Review: Herbal Wellness Center in Phoenix
Chitral Hays -- not his real name -- is Jackalope Ranch's resident expert on medical marijuana in Arizona. In Perfectly Blunt, Hays delivers news, reviews, and must-know info. From time to time, he'll review a local dispensary.
(Courtesy of Herbal Wellness Center)
I think I'm beginning to see a pattern here. All the dispensaries I've been to in Phoenix (so far) are jammed into incredibly shitty areas of town due to zoning laws. Herbal Wellness Center, located just east of 43rd Avenue on Indian School, is no different. What was once a former pawn shop, HWC shares the street with dusty tire shops and a number of strip clubs, but not the kind of exotic dancing you indulge in for a bachelor party -- more the type that reminds you somewhere there's a father crying into his beer.
If it weren't for the security guard pacing the parking lot, I almost wouldn't feel safe leaving my car here. I feel sympathy for the more fragile patients who trek to eyebrow-raising areas of town just because Phoenix wants these businesses out of sight. But anything for wellness, right? Sometimes that's worth the trip. In the case of HWC, I'm not too sure.
Herbal Wellness Center
4126 W. Indian School Rd.
Hours: 10:00 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
Medication price range: $20 per gram, $33 per eighth, $220 per ounce
Other types of medicine: Pre-rolls, 60-120mg brownies, candy bars, gummy bears, pastries, juices.
Online menu? Yes.
Handicap accessible? Yes.
Herbal Wellness Center has quite a nice lobby: lightly accented green walls, modern art, and a plasma screen TV looping a video that explains the benefits of cannabinoids. After handing the receptionist my driver's license and medical card, I was buzzed into the back room. There was a vending machine for medibles and a large refrigerated safe where the cannabis was stored, already weighed and packaged. The back wall displayed paraphernalia and two digital menus, while approximately 20 different strains were lined out on the counter in small glass jars. I dislike that they have debit fees here and their product is pre-weighed, but this isn't uncommon at other dispensaries, so oh well.
My budtender was friendly as he explained how HWC's rewards program worked. Each purchase, depending on how much you spend, accumulates points. The first tier, at 200 points, is a pre-roll, but 2,000 points can get you one of the bubblers off the back wall. Your current score is printed on the bottom of your receipt. After I was told a little more about Herbal's history, I was encouraged to sift through and find the cannabis to my liking.
Let me preface this by saying I was broke. I went in knowing I would be only able to afford the bottom shelf strains, but luckily, they offered a free gram and a small pipe for the first 500 patients. HWC has been open only a few months, so I was still one of these lucky first few. Unfortunately, the free gram was also their cheapest strain available, the Baby OG. The pipe was nothing special, but it made a nice, impromptu present for a friend. Still, something about horses, gifts, and their mouths, right?