Solid Prices, Low-Key

If you are willing to travel just north of Irvington, Earth's Healing is a welcoming (and affordable) dispensary

It's a problem I wish I'd had two years ago—dispensaries popping so fast I can't get out fast enough to visit them all. Another one opened last Monday on the southside—Earth's Healing Pain Treatment & Wellness Center—so here's a glimpse of what they offer.

The dispensary is in a great location. Where do you want to be when you walk out with $500 worth of meds? How about on Benson Highway within sight of the Pima County Sheriff's Department headquarters? Earth's Healing is also within easy reach of a big chunk of the southside, giving the city a kind of ring of protection around the east, south and west sides.

It's clear when you drive up that this is a working man's dispensary. First off, Benson Highway ain't La Encantada. But even if the commercial box looks a bit like a former used-car office, the décor is new, spotless doctor's-office utilitarian. It has a modern vibe, but not upscale. The TVs in the waiting room are normal size, not Big Greedy American size. We pay largely for our experiences in the modern retail world, and a lot of people would rather not pay for an upscale cannabis adventure.

I'm a dive bar guy, mostly, and ultimately I'd rather have cheap meds than expensive couches. You can't smoke stainless trim and custom tile.

There's no buzzer on the Earth's Healing door, so you can walk right into the waiting room. There's a TV on the wall and ubiquitous cannabis mags to browse. I don't know what's in any of these; I've never had time to browse a magazine at a dispensary. Hehe.

Everyone smiled when I walked into Earth's Healing. It seemed very laid back and inviting, with the staff wearing matching polo shirts. That seemed friendlier than medical garb as they took my card and paperwork through the pharmacy-style window.

A step into the cannabinoid wonder chamber reveals an armoire-sized display of glass pieces and other smoking supplies on the left and another case full of meds on the right. They had more than a dozen strains, with a typical range of sativas, indicas and hybrids of every stripe. All the meds are lab tested and labeled for THC, CBD, CBN and molds.

At least one Earth's Healing grower works the counter, because I bought some of his Sour Diesel. I like buying directly from growers. Um, because then if I knew anything about growing, he could, you know, answer my intelligent questions about nutrients and shit. Just sayin'.

They claim the best dispensary prices in town, and without a direct comparison (stay tuned), I wouldn't argue. Their two price tiers are $45/$90/$180/$360 and $55/$110/$220/$440 per eighth/quarter/half/ounce. Don't be hasty, though. Comparing dispensary prices is risky because you are inevitably comparing apples to entirely different kinds of apples. Dispensaries get meds from scores of growers, so I might be willing to pay more for one Sour Diesel than another. In any event, Earth's Healing meds top out at $55 per eighth. Tumbleweeds Health Center is the only other local source that can boast of that.

Earth's Healing also gets props for cookies and brownies ($12) and candies (various prices), seasoning packets ($25—blackened, Southwest and taco). They even have hot sauce. All the edibles come from Green Halo's kitchen until Earth's Harvest gets its operation up and running. I bought a $12 brownie and ate the whole thing. Yow. It was clearly three doses for me. Pace yerself.

So Earth's Healing gets a huge Mr. Smith approval, largely for workaday prices, friendly experts behind the counter and a wide selection, including hash and edibles. I took a newly certified friend there for her first-ever dispensary trip. She was smiling a lot.

I think she liked it.

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