Unlike most states with a dispensary system, Washington never explicitly authorized the existence of medical marijuana storefronts – they just kind of appeared. Yet, while they remain arguably illegal, dispensaries in cosmopolitan areas like Seattle are well tolerated by the local population, and probably the biggest reason for this acceptance is the level of professionalism embodied by collectives like the Northwest Patient’s Resource Center (NWPRC).
The new West Seattle location for the NWPRC abuts a quiet residential neighborhood apparently imported from 1950s Mayberry. Children play in manicured yards bounded by quiet streets. The first and fundamental question any cannabis collective asks before opening in such a location necessarily must be: how to keep the store, and by extension its surrounding neighborhood, safe?
The new NWPRC puts a sharp bead on the problem and knocks it out of the park. The welcoming patient area accesses the collective’s medicine only through powerful Plexiglass windows, like those seen at upscale banks. Every corner of the facility is video recorded. No entry to the dispensary’s inventory is possible except through a solidly-constructed “man trap” which will not open on the inside until the outside door is locked via deadbolt. The overwhelming message to any would-be robber casing the place is: “keep looking.”
But despite its daunting appearance for criminals, NWPRC remains a welcoming vibe for its members. A small community center off to the side provides a place for members to relax with friends, and the friendly staff keep a varied selection of strictly top-shelf medicine on hand. The best aspect of NWPRC’s selection is its wide choices of alternative delivery methods such as tinctures and edibles in myriad array. Clones are always kept in ready supply. In short, NWPRC keeps whatever a patient may need, but no added frills or fuss.
“I’m sure that we run the most adult approach to cannabis here in Seattle,” said Jake Dimmock, who co-founded the dispensary along with John Davis and Daniela Bernhardt.
Dimmock said he doesn’t mind that the dispensary has been called the “Nordstroms of pot shops” as NWPRC patients aren’t necessarily looking to be part of a scene, but rather receive professional and efficient access to Washington’s premium strains.
One grower that NWPRC is proud to work with is Solstice, Seattle’s first fully permitted marijuana grow. In following NWPRC’s business ethic, Solstice worked with city officials to follow city zoning and permit codes and ensure the operation could be as transparent and open as possible.
“They are such pros,” Bernhardt said of Solstice and its compliance with city and state laws. “They have an amazingly high-quality medicinal grow.”
Two Solstice strains featured at NWPRC are Blueberry Cheesecake, a hybrid that gives off fragrant and aromatic notes reminiscent of the desert, and Sour Tsunami #3, a sativa that contains 11 percent CBD with less than half a percent of THC. Due to its high CBD content the Sour Tsunami #3 is a great pain reliever for those who aren’t looking for cannabis’ psychoactive properties, Dimmock said.
Dimmock, Bernhadt and Davis bring decades of cannabis activism experience to the table and that experience shines clearly through the attention to detail evident in every corner. Davis has announced a strategic alliance between NWPRC and Diego Pellicer, the “premium” marijuana brand founded by entrepreneur Jamen Shively, who unabashedly plans to grow the partnership into a national brand. If that happens, the NWPRC formula will be the right kind of business model to take to a nationwide public – the kind of image which should make the entire community proud.
1809 Minor Ave. Seattle, WA
9456 35th Ave SW Seattle, WA
First appeared in issue 8 of Cannabis Now Magazine.