Apr 21, 2020

First dispensary trip!


Suite 443 - Hot Springs
Photo credit Misty Drennan via WeedMaps.com

My first trip as an official medical marijuana patient was to Suite 443 in Hot Springs.  From El Dorado, we traveled north west to East Camden by way of Highway 7 north, then on to 79 north until our journey led us to Eagle Mills where the beginning of Highway 9 curves through the Ouachita Forest towards the mountains of Garland County.  The drive up is beautiful, but long. 

After passing through Malvern as the last major town, missing Magnet Cove with a blink, about 9 minutes from the I-20 intersection just on the outskirts of the Lakeside District of Hot Springs we discover a very inconspicuous building on the right of Highway 270 West.  It's easily passed if you don't know what you're looking for, which can be a good thing but also frustrating for new patients. After the first visit, though I can say with confidence I will never forget where Suite 443 is.

The parking lot was clean and well maintained.  There were no scavengers or questionable folk hanging about the building or its premises. I had placed an online order previous to my arrival.  Upon entering the building into the main lobby, I was greeted by a friendly middle aged lady and gentleman whom I assumed were the dispensary owners or managers. All identification protocol was followed to a T without making me feel uncomfortable or rushed.  I did not have my physical card yet but they had no issue scanning the bar code from my digital copy on my phone.  They checked my ID and I passed through to the checkout door.  Each door is secured by a lock that is operated only by the staff. I felt very safe.

At the checkout window I was approached by a young man with long dreads and what looked to be a security guard.  I was kind of nervous with it being my first time so I unfortunately didn't pay much attention to names.  My order was already bagged and a happy conversation ensued about me being a new patient, a first time visitor and our trip from the southernmost part of the state.  They offered me a tour of the showroom and a free hat for my first visit.

Around the corner from the checkout window is a small atrium where there is a coffee bar with a Kuerig, various coffee pods, soda and water in a cooler for patients free of charge. Through another secured doorway lie the expansive showroom with its rustic yet classy display cases and homey, slightly industrial feel.  The experience of taking it all in was akin to walking into your favorite coffee shop where your barista already knows your favorite order and starts working on it as soon as you pass the threshold.  There were smiles all around from staff and customer alike, and I shed my nerves on the way out the door of my first visit.  I decided pretty quickly that this would be the dispensary that would be the standard of comparison to others in my future.

I purchased 3/8 oz of flower,  1/4 oz of one and 1/8 oz of another which total by weight is about 11 grams.  The flower I received was tight buds with sticky centers, dried down in snug happy chunks and nugs.  Upon observation all of the buds seem to have been evenly trimmed and by weight each jar was visibly equally packed.  For convenience all flower at Suite 443 is pre-packaged in glass, airtight jars and labeled with the product information.  Upon purchase the patient information sticker is added to the jar which makes the transaction quicker for the tender and the customer.  However, they do not sell by weight to be measured in front of the customer.  

After emptying the jar and weighing it myself on a kitchen scale each jar was approximately no more than .01 gm off of weight (1/8 oz = approx 3.5 grams). I also purchased a bottle of CBD Companion Drops for my 6 month old labrador puppy and a vape cartridge of a blend of AK-47 x Cookies (or GSC, respectively). The cart by weight was 0.5 gm.

I will be posting my product review for the dispensary in tomorrow's post so be sure and check back for that!