'Wal-Mart of weed:' Medical marijuana supply store to open

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by Catherine Holland

azfamily.com

Posted on June 1, 2011 at 7:56 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 1 at 1:39 PM

Map: weGrow Phoenix

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PHOENIX -- Officially, the name is weGrow, but the soon-to-open "marijuana superstore" is also known by some as the "Wal-Mart of weed."

The store is a 21,000-square-foot space at 29th Avenue and Thomas Road in Phoenix, and it will celebrate its grand opening Wednesday evening.

Calling itself "the first honest hydro store," weGrow specializes in hydroponic equipment, supplies and training -- all the tools and tips one might need to grow marijuana. The store sells everything except the plants themselves.

Javier Soto talked to the man behind weGrow. Dhar Mann opened the first weGrow in California.

"Such a service was needed for the medical marijuana community to promote safe and responsible cultivation," Mann said. "Medical marijuana is a new industry with a lot of demand but very little information. If it's not grown correctly, it can cause a lot of problems for communities."

The timing of the weGrow opening is no coincidence. The Arizona Department of Health Services was slated to start accepting applications for medical marijuana dispensaries on Wednesday. The dispensary program, however, is on hold due to a lawsuit filed by Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and Gov. Jan Brewer, asking for a declaratory judgment on the legality of the state's new voter-approved medical marijuana initiative. They want to know if Arizona citizens have any protection under the state law.

That suit came after the federal government issued a warning to all Arizonans that using, having, growing or distributing marijuana is still against the law under federal guidelines.

Because of the delay, those who have been approved for medical marijuana cards will have to grow their own pot.

It’s not clear when any declaratory judgment will be made or how long the medical marijuana dispensary program will be delayed.

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