By Patrick Wagner
PHOENIX, Ariz. — Most cannabis consumers will shop at the closest or most convenient retail location. However, in the case of Herbal Wellness Center in Phoenix, Arizona, about 75% of its patients drive more than 15 minutes to patronize their dispensary of choice, general manager Brandon Miceli said.
Miceli believes that’s due to Herbal Wellness Center’s superior service.
“This isn’t bragging or boasting, but this is one of the nicest dispensaries that you will ever step into,” he said. “It’s a completely different feel.”
Herbal Wellness was founded in 2013. Miceli said the owner, who requested his name be withheld, is a serial entrepreneur with a slew of successful businesses, from real estate to nail salons. After winning the lottery for a marijuana business, Miceli said the owner opted to put a little more color into the neighborhood with the dispensary’s look.
“A lot of places go for the clean, medical, very minimalist design,” Miceli said.
Herbal Wellness adopted a “neo-classical” look that combined elements of Prohibition-era speakeasies and Victorian-era pharmacies, Miceli said. “We have more color, more texture and more feel, all of those nice things that enhance and bring a lot more to the table.”
Arizona has a vertically-integrated system in place for medical cannabis, with no limitations on how much licensed cultivators are allowed to produce. While many cultivators would go wild with the free reign to cultivate as many plants as possible, Miceli said Herbal Wellness has taken a different approach.
“Everything is 100% organic,” Miceli said. “It’s always the longest, slowest, most careful route.”
He said sometimes people will complain about Herbal Wellness being a little on the pricey side, “but every single thing gets reinvested right back so we have more cultivation, more grow and more techniques.”
On the horizon for the Herbal Wellness Center is a second location in Chandler and, believe it or not, an online TV show. Looking forward, Miceli is excited to help pilot Herbal Wellness into the future.
“The biggest challenge that we and everybody else faces is understanding that this industry is growing more in dog years than people years,” Miceli said. “So we see a seven-year occurrence in one year. So you have to be very adaptable to the changes coming.”