Tucson medical marijuana shop's business grows, reaches 1st anniversary

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The Downtown Dispensary near the University of Arizona celebrated its one-year anniversary on Aug. 20. (Source: Tucson News Now) The Downtown Dispensary near the University of Arizona celebrated its one-year anniversary on Aug. 20. (Source: Tucson News Now)
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Medical marijuana dispensaries are nothing new in Tucson, but if one shop is any indication of how they're received, business is booming.

Some of the customers at The Downtown Dispensary on 6th Street were in and out in no time on Thursday.

“I came here for meds for my pain in my gums from a car crash,” Alexander Gonzales said. ”They work with you to find out what exactly fits your needs. They explain what's what and how it works with your body.”

The Downtown Dispensary near the University of Arizona just celebrated its one-year mark in Tucson on Aug. 20.

They said they have between 3,000 and 4,000 customers and business looks to be growing. They said they've seen business increase by about 20 percent over the past six months.

”I think with medical marijuana, there's always been a bit of a stigma and that in Arizona, at least in Tucson, has gone down in the last year,” dispensary director Mohit Asnani said.

The Downtown Dispensary says it doesn't have many student patients; the majority is over 45 years old.

In all of Arizona, about 55,000 people have medical marijuana cards, and we're learning that Tucson is getting a lot of that business.

But only after, The Downtown Dispensary says, it went over hurdles just to set up shop. Asnani said it took about six months to go through the zoning and architectural review process.

“We never tried to get any loans from banks,” Asnani said. “It's really not part of the medical marijuana business. It's never been an option for most medical marijuana dispensaries.”

“We just celebrated our one-year anniversary yesterday and as we move forward we can kind of look and track trends and now that there's more patients in Tucson and the state alone, (we're) definitely looking to see expansion coming in the next year,” manager Jay Zimmermann said.

They say not having bank loans keeps them from expanding as much as they'd like, but it doesn't necessarily hurt the dispensary's sustainability.

“I think one of the biggest things right now is simply having more cultivation sites in the state that are supplying, and that's still a bit of an issue where there's shortages and the market hasn't built up to that level where there's a steady supply,” Asnani saidAsnanii says the dispensary's next main goal is to get a sign outside in front of the building.

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