For those who have tried The Downtown Dispensary, there doesn't seem to be any other choice.
That was certainly the case with now-General Manager Jay Zimmermann, who before seeking employment was one of the first 1,000 medical marijuana cardholding patients in the state.
While riding his bike, Zimmermann was the victim of a hit and run. He spent about a month in the hospital undergoing multiple surgeries, and endured a year of learning how to walk again. Suffering from chronic pain, and seeking an alternative to prescription medications, Zimmermann turned to medical marijuana—the results of which he says are unparalleled.
After trying a few shops, The Downtown Dispensary opened on Aug. 20, 2013, and Zimmermann gave it a test run.
"I had such a great experience here that I never went anywhere else again. The knowledge and customer service was the best I had seen," said Zimmerman, 26.
In fact, Zimmermann was so impressed that he later decided to pursue employment with the company, one that now has about 4,000 patients.
As general manager, Zimmermann continues to implement the priorities that make The Downtown Dispensary so successful, among them of which are diligence, product knowledge and strong customer service.
"We have a genuine care for our patients here," said Zimmermann. "We want to provide them with the best experience possible."
In order to do so, the company follows all state laws, acquiring all of their marijuana flowers from a state-sponsored grower, as opposed to caregivers, and having all product lab-tested for mold and pesticides prior to sale.
"We try to be as diligent as possible with the medicine we bring in, and that we dot all of our i's and cross all of our t's," said Zimmermann. "Aside from that, all but two of our employees are patients themselves, so we definitely have a lot of experience in how to go about treating and providing regimens and doses."
That experience is particularly important since the industry is still finding its roots, Zimmerman added.
"If you go to a hospital, the nurses and doctors have been tested to make sure they are capable of doing their job," he said. "There isn't that standard in the medical marijuana industry. That means you could go to another facility and they could prescribe you something that is completely incorrect for your conditions. That's a troubling aspect."
The Downtown Dispensary offers a variety of medicinal options to best address each person's unique needs. With an inventory of about 30 different strains, CBD and THC concentrates, as well as a number of edibles and tinctures, there is a solution for anyone who steps foot into the building.
"There's a big generalization that medical marijuana is medical marijuana," said Zimmermann. "There really is a wide variety of strains that do different things for patients, so it definitely takes someone who is knowledgeable on the other side of the counter."
While Zimmermann says about 35 percent of users are treated for chronic pain, there are a number of other symptoms that medical marijuana is beneficial for, such as epilepsy, cancer, neuropathy, insomnia, migraine and more.
On Aug. 28, The Downtown Dispensary will be paying for medical marijuana cards for its first 30 qualified patients. It's just another way of helping extend the benefits of medical marijuana to those in need, said Zimmermann.
"We want to help out our community," said Zimmermann. "We want to be, and we already are, part of the culture of downtown."
The Downtown Dispensary is located at 221 E. Sixth St., Ste. 105. For more information, visit www.thedowntowndispensary.com or call 838-0492.