By CHRIS EVERSOLE
Mustang has become a hot spot for medical marijuana dispensaries, with six within the city’s 12 square miles.
The relationship between city government and the dispensaries is good, two owners and Community Development Director Melissa Helsel said.
Policies regarding medical marijuana are being fine-tuned.
One change in the works is that the city plans to stop regulating people who are growing medical marijuana for their own use at home.
At a special meeting Tuesday, the city council authorized Helsel to a draft revision to the city medical marijuana ordinance for its Aug. 6 agenda.
Under the proposed revision, home growers no longer would need a city permit, which costs $500.
“People asked why we required the permit, since they already had to have a state permit,” Helsel said.
No one had applied for the permit, she said.
Another change that’s coming is that a state “Unity Bill” that the Legislature adopted this session goes into effect Aug. 28.
The biggest change in the bill is that dispensaries no longer will be able to hold enrollment drives, events at which a physician writes authorizations for cards enabling patients to buy medical marijuana.
Mom and pop operations
The two dispensaries that participated in Mustang News interviews are family-run.
Husband and wife Staci and Joshua Sechrist own The Healthy Leaf Dispensary, 1121 W. State Highway 152, across from The Bridge Church.
Terra and Aaron Jones and her father, John Garcia, own Herbal Releaf Dispensary, 1707 E. SH-152, just east of Morgan Road.
Staci Sechrist said she tries to make The Healthy Leaf stand out by offering private rooms for customers to select their purchases in a well-lit, well-kept environment.
Her business was the first is open in Mustang – on Feb. 11.
When other dispensaries opened, Sechrist lost some of her business, but many of her original customers have returned due to her good prices and service, she said.
Most of her customers are relatively old.
They include her mother-in-law, who uses medical marijuana to treat neuropathy that developed after she received radiation treatments for breast cancer.
“It’s done wonders for her,” Sechrist said.
A customer who had lost movement on his right side due to a brain tumor has seen most of his function return with the help of medical marijuana.
Sechrist hadn’t plan to run a dispensary. She had invested with several people to open the dispensary.
When they abandoned their plans, she took it over.
“I had to start from scratch, and I learned a lot, mostly online,” she said.
Sechrist buys her products from vendors based in the Oklahoma City metro.
They include edibles such as gummies, brownies and candy bars.
Other products include lotions and tinctures that can be placed under the tongue and used in other ways.
Smokable products include marijuana flowers, ground flowers and pre-rolled joints.
Like all dispensaries, The Healthy Leaf is a cash-only business. That’s because federal law prohibits marijuana businesses from using banking.
The Healthy Leaf handles nine strains of medical marijuana.
Jones became interested in medical marijuana to treat herself for Still’s disease, a rare type of
inflammatory arthritis that causes weight gain.
“I got my medical marijuana card in September, and my health has been totally different,” she said.
She also found it helped one of her three sons, who is on the autism spectrum.
As she began communicating through Instagram and Facebook with other people interested in the benefits of medical marijuana, she became interested in helping them.
Her father assisted her in starting the dispensary.
“I said, ‘Dad, we have to do this,’” she said.