PHOENIX - It's what most patients see when they come into the Encanto Green Cross Dispensary in Phoenix, a storefront with all things medical marijuana. But what very few get to see, its massive grow center right in Central Phoenix.
Bill Brothers heads up the Encanto dispensary. Also, one of the largest grow centers in Arizona.
The location in Central Phoenix is 30,000 square-feet with greenhouses, bloom rooms and a dark place for plants to cure. The whole operation comes down to science.
"The science is a big part of what we're doing, and that's the big part that's not been researched in the United States," Brothers said.
That's why Encanto says it does its own research to make their products better and safer. They serve about 13,000 patients a year; all have a medical marijuana card. That's a sticking point for Brothers, the cost to get it.
"Why do the cards cost $150 each and every year for a patient?" asked Brothers. "What other medicine in the U.S. requires a patient to pay the state for the right to use it?"
Brothers would like to see the price reduced or even free.
Right now Encanto is trying to stay up with the demand. At the beginning of 2017, they employed about 75 people. By the end of the year, they'll employ about 150.
"At the end of the day you have to ask your question - Who do you serve?" asked Brothers. "And we serve patients."