Some products relieve pain without altering the mind
Who shops at Twisp House of Cannabis?
It could be someone you know. It could also be someone you know’s grandmother.
The owners at Twisp House of Cannabis say a lot of their business comes from people seeking salves and other pain remedies that contain almost no THC and have no mind-altering effects. The store relocated to 1017 E. Methow Valley Highway from Carlton on Aug. 12.
The Twisp store defies the state trend. According to Liquor and Cannabis Board Director of Communications Brian Smith, a vast majority of sales at marijuana retailers involve products, whether smoked, vaped or ingested, that are laden with THC and induce the unique high associated with the plant. Smith didn’t have detailed figures immediately available, but he said the pain-relieving products with no psychoactive properties make up less than 10 percent of sales statewide.
Customers at Twisp House of Cannabis often are baby boomers suffering from neuropathy or rheumatic arthritis, according to the three owners, Michael Endicott, Mike McDonald and Kevin Heiderich. When these customers name the active ingredient they’re looking for, it’s not THC. Rather, it’s CBD, or cannabidiol, a compound that does not induce a high and is believed to relieve pain and reduce anxiety.
Older clients often favor CBD transdermal patches that can be placed over a painful joint, Endicott said. These devices transfer the salve more effectively through the skin and into the bloodstream.
“When we opened the Carlton store, we noticed there’s a good demand for CBD, and it makes up a good chunk of the business,” Heiderich said.
Scientific studies have shown CBD’s potential as a treatment for pain, anxiety and multiple sclerosis. CBD also has shown promise in curbing nicotine addiction.
“A lot of people will find significant pain reduction with those products,” Heiderich said.
More studies are needed before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes these benefits. The FDA has approved CBD only as a treatment for two rare and severe forms of epilepsy.
Consultant on staff
Twisp House of Cannabis has a state-certified medical marijuana consultant on staff to point out products that would be appropriate for a patient’s treatment plan. Consultants do not recommend treatments—that’s the job of a doctor or other health provider.
Recognizing the significant number of baby boomers who shop at the store, co-owner Endicott said the store has hired a 74-year-old woman who will reach out to seniors in the valley, to let them know about the medical benefits of the store’s products. She is getting state-certified as a marijuana consultant as well, Endicott said.
“Our goal is to provide the community with a comfortable experience, an education and a better understanding of cannabis products,” store General Manager Shaun Tighe-Barrios said.
The move to a much larger shop in Twisp has prompted House of Cannabis to hire three more employees. They also hired local contractors to get the Yard Food building in shape for the Aug. 12 opening.
Twisp artist Donna Keyser came up with the frosting and lettering for the store’s windows. Jerry Merz of Methow Metalworks, based at TwispWorks, fashioned the gate and decorative window bars that were required in any case for building security.
House of Cannabis also uses local growers for some of its marijuana and other products, including Methow Horticulture, High Country Horticulture and Lazy Bee Gardens. Local growers tout their sustainable practices and non-chemical pesticides on their websites. (Access to websites maintained by marijuana businesses is restricted to people 21 and over.)
Twisp House of Cannabis is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. More information is available on the store’s Facebook page, found by entering @twisphouseofcanna in the Facebook search box.