Valley's 1st medical marijuana dispensary celebrates 5-year anniversary

– It’s the business that keeps growing.

Medical marijuana was legalized in Arizona in 2011, and six years later, more than 100 dispensaries across the Valley are treating patients.

December 6, 2012 was when Arizona Organix became the first to open their doors to patients.

“We want to make sure that our patients are getting the best medicine that’ll help for their circumstance,” Shannon Tovar said.

Manager of Arizona Organix, Shannon Tovar says they’ve seen just that.

“I’ve seen a lot of patients where it’s changed their life drastically and they’re able to get back some quality of life,” she said.

Kyle is one of those patients.

“There are a lot of toxic poisons peddled in mainstream society on every street corner, so it’s nice to see some natural medicine making its in the world,” he said.

Right now, there are more than 100,000 medical marijuana card holders, according to the Arizona Department of Health, and more than half of those patients list chronic pain as their ailment.

“We’re seeing a lot more patients that weren’t open to it before that are now cause there is a lot of scientifical data to back it up,” Tovar said.

Before dispensaries started to develop around the Valley, some businesses feared the type of climate it would create.

Alex Contreras of Knuckle Head Tattoo admits he wasn’t sure what to expect. They’re right next door to Arizona Organix, but Alex says since they opened things have gone up.

“They’re clientele, they got a lot of clientele, they bring alot of customers here and from open to close they’re pretty swamped,” he said.

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