?It doesn't get much more convenient--or for that matter, much more high-profile, at least when it comes to a medical marijuana dispensary--than Natures Resource Center. Located in Tacoma's eclectic Freighthouse Square shopping center in the Dome District, NRC opened in January to a flurry of local media attention, mostly inspired by its very visible location.
That the dispensary is located right next to City Blocks, which makes specialty Lego creations and has a play area for kids, drew additional negative attention, especially after a fellow shop owner (not from City Blocks) complained about NRC in a letter to the editor of the Tacoma News Tribune.
But Cat and David, the couple who run the center, have had a quiet and respectable operation for the past five months. The initial "Oh my God, a marijuana dispensary!" reaction has mostly died down. And there's actually a very good reason for NRC to be exactly where it is: Many of its patients are handicapped or have limited mobility and no personal transporation, and Freighthouse Square is directly across the street from bus and rail lines, as well as a parking garage.
The center has, in addition to dried cannabis flowers, concentrates including bubble hash ($20/gram), organic kief ($15/gram), cookies and brownies ($5 each), tincture ($20), and topical lotion ($15), as well as "starts," cloned cuttings from which patients can grow their own medicine ($15). New patients get a free complimentary cannabis brownie on their first visit.
Budtender Cat guided me through the selection, sold for $5 to $12 a gram, with most strains hovering at $10. On a recent Saturday, there were three strains for $8, a dozen for $10, and three for $12, along with one each at $5 (shake), $9 (mix from the bottoms of bud jars), and $11 (OG Kush).
I chose three strains at three price points: house strain Cough ($8; a blend of sativa and indica), Blue Cheeze ($10; indica dominant, Blueberry sativa x UK Cheese), and Green Ribbon ($12; an energetic sativa). Cough's well-manicured buds offered both the energy of sativa and relaxation of indica, and were quite tasty. If the sustain isn't quite what it could be, well it is, after all, an $8 strain.
Blue Cheeze's funky, sweet-smelling buds--with a "flavor of a soft fruit kiss of blueberry," NRC's site tells us in an appropriate burst of poetics--also had an underlying hint of the other half of its genetic heritage, UK Cheese, with the combination coming off as musky and dank with a woodsy edge. I could feel my body relaxing with the first few potent tokes, but minus the mental fog that comes with some heavy indicas.
Green Ribbon was nice, with frosty, slighly sour-smelling buds and rapid onset, but was slightly disappointing, sustain-wise, for a $12 strain.
Possibly my favorite purchase was a one-ounce bottle of their in-house-branded glyceride cannabis tincture at $20. This convenient stuff is put under the tongue with the included dropper; two to four drops are recommended for starters, and I found the latter dose quite effective for pain, nausea, and insomnia.
NRC is open at Freighthouse Square, 602 E. 25th St., Suite 78, in Tacoma, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call (253) 572-5544, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://nrc420.com.
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Steve Elliott edits Toke of the Town, Village Voice Media's site of cannabis news, views, rumor and humor.