Smashing the Stigma 

At Cathy's Compassion Center, a cancer survivor helps others with their struggle

For medical marijuana

dispensary owner Cathy Mead, opening up Cathy's Compassion Center in December 2012 wasn't just a business decision.

Mead's father died from lung cancer, but Mead saw first-hand how his passing was made more bearable through the use of marijuana.

"It changed the quality of his life," said Mead. "He could drink, he could eat, he could sleep."

So, when Mead—who is a cancer survivor—had the opportunity to pass on the benefits of medical marijuana to others, it was a no-brainer.

"I've seen both sides of the issue, so I figured I could offer some value and education to the people who otherwise might have been apprehensive of trying it," said Mead. "It was a lot about helping people in overcoming the stigma that comes with marijuana."

Cathy's is looking to reverse the negative connotations that come with medical marijuana by offering an environment that is welcoming and professional, and which offers an educational and informative experience for patients who may be unfamiliar with the benefits of the medicine.

As a partner of two major cancer centers in Arizona, Mead says it is rewarding to help those who experienced the same trials as she and her father did battling the disease.

"I've always been in a service-oriented business, but this is by far the greatest service experience of my life," she said. "For so many people, this is the last chance for relief. We've had people walking in, shaking in their boots because they'd never smoked, but we made it such a welcoming and warm experience."

Cathy's is just as focused on providing top-notch product.

Having established its own grow, Cathy's is able to offer a large number of strains, all of which are tested for mold and pesticides. Because of the flexibility that comes with its own harvest, Cathy's is also able to experiment with new strains, giving patients a wider variety to choose from, important since some prefer the "high" feeling while others are simply after pain relief or sleep aid.

Patients preferring the edible route will have a broad selection as well. Cathy's offers it all—from candy bars and brownies to oils, waxes and vaporizers.

"We try to keep all of our products' prices the lowest in the state," said Mead. "We are a boutique. We are a small dispensary, but we care a lot, and we want every customer experience to be a positive experience."

Located at 1825 W. Dragoon Road near Willcox, Cathy's offers delivery services throughout Arizona.

For more information on Cathy's Compassion Center, visit their Facebook page or view their website at www.cathyscompassioncenter.com.

The dispensary can be reached at 866-291-8797.

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