Although it’s always tempting to make stoner jokes when discussing medical marijuana, the fact is, cannabis has proved to be an effective treatment in maladies ranging from anxiety to severe back pain to appetite stimulation for cancer patients.
“People are understanding more and more that this is not a place for the 20-year-old getting high, that shops are no longer the 1990s undercover hole-in-the-wall places,” says Nicole Salisbury, owner of Green Pearl Organics in Desert Hot Springs. “Our average patients are ages 35 to 60 and it’s a large [military] veteran population; dealing with aches and pains of carrying 100-pound packs, manual labor, back pain, or PTSD.”
Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, and Cathedral City are the only cities in the Greater Palm Springs region that currently license dispensaries, although some of the other six Coachella Valley cities are exploring options with ad hoc committees for cultivation operations or retail stores.
Palm Springs has the most licensed dispensaries — six — but Desert Hot Springs, with four, recently held a town hall forum and has embraced large-scale operations with multiple cultivation facilities, stores, and delivery services.
Eleven cultivation projects have been approved and as many as eight more are in the works. “The city is really moving forward with this,” says Salisbury.
“People are understanding more and more that this is not a place for the 20-year-old getting high, that shops are no longer the 1990s undercover hole-in-the-wall places.”
Indian Wells, La Quinta, and Indio ban the delivery and production of medical marijuana, and they prohibit dispensaries. Rancho Mirage provides residents monthly stipends of $25 to travel to a dispensary by taxi or Uber to procure prescription. Palm Desert allows residents to cultivate as many as six plants for personal, medical purposes, and Coachella permits cultivation in certain zoned areas.
In April, Cathedral City opened its application process for new cannabis business and its city council recently approved cultivation and manufacturing facilities in light industrial zones.
Green Cross Pharma President Maria Scagliotti said her business, as of now the lone medical cannabis operation in Cathedral City, opened in October 2015, is one of the first stops for patients driving from the east valley.
“It’s been a slow, quiet, organic growth but people are finding out about us,” she says. “Our patients are mainly older and they’ve found we have great products for fighting cancer and lots of topicals for skin conditions.”
400 E. Sunny Dunes Rd. 760-778-1053
Desert Organic Solutions
19486 Newhall St.
4050 Airport Center Dr., Ste. C
Palm Springs Safe Access
1247 S. Gene Autry Trail
Organic Solutions of the Desert
4765 E. Ramon Rd. 760-832-7813
Brown Dog Health and Wellness
66595 Pierson Blvd.
Green Pearl Organics
64949 Mission Lakes Blvd., Ste. 108
Green Leaf Wellness
12285 Palm Dr., Ste. 102 760-329-8300
Green Cross Pharma
68730 Summit Dr.