For the cannabis industry, April 20th is like Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas and the Super Bowl all rolled into one. Last year, thousands of medical marijuana patients visited the Mint Dispensary’s two metro Phoenix locations in the days leading up to 4/20. This year, as Arizonans comply with the Governor’s social-distancing and stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19, the party is taking a new direction.
“Last year, on 4/20, we held a cannabis-themed wedding at one of our dispensaries,” said Eivan Shahara, President and CEO of the Mint Dispensary. “So naturally, we had some pretty big plans to celebrate 4/20 this year. Then the coronavirus hit. We knew we had to modify our plans, so we expanded the celebration to the entire month of April, added in some virtual opportunities, and got creative.’”
To support social distancing, the Mint Dispensary launched The Great Chill-Out, a virtual bingo game designed to help Arizonans combat boredom and the blues. The Mint team broadcasts its free bingo games daily, at 4:20 p.m. and 7:10 p.m., on its YouTube channel and Facebook and Instagram pages. Arizonans over the age of 21 can get a free digital bingo card by sending an email, with their name and age, to: [email protected]. During each bingo game, players have the chance to win non-cannabis prizes, and medical marijuana patients can earn credits to the dispensaries. No purchase is necessary, and individuals can reuse their bingo card to play daily.
The Mint team also created and posted a series of videos on its website, TheMintDispensary.com, so that patients can take virtual tours of its Guadalupe, Ariz. dispensary, the largest in the state and the third-largest in the country. Through the virtual tours, viewers can learn more about the Mint Café, the nation’s first cannabis kitchen of its kind, which offers a wide variety of freshly-made and infused snacks, entrees and desserts for patients to purchase and consume at home. Guides also lead viewers through a behind-the-scenes tour to the Vault viewing window, which gives a peek into the dispensary’s on-site cultivation facility that grows high-quality, boutique strains of cannabis flower. In addition, patients can learn more about the Mint Dispensary, and its wide selection of more than 10,000 products, prior to visiting the dispensary in person.
As a trailblazer in Arizona’s medical cannabis space, the Mint is also breaking ground (and walls) this month to introduce a drive-thru on the east side of its Guadalupe dispensary. Expected to open in May, the drive-thru will offer more convenience for busy patients on the go. The drive-thru lane will offer them with an even speedier option to pick up their medicine, which could be helping them to treat anything from cancer and epilepsy to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Crohn’s diseases.
The drive-thru plan complements the Mint’s long-range growth plans in Arizona and across the country. A $2.5-million expansion will help the Mint to expand its Mesa dispensary (330 E. Southern Ave.) from 750 to 2,000 square feet of space. The expansion includes an introduction of an on-site cultivation facility, bringing with it more than 10 new jobs. Additionally, the Mint is expanding its Valley footprint with a new 2,000-square-foot location in north Phoenix. The $2-million dispensary, located at 17036 N. Cave Creek Road, is currently under development and is expected to bring up to 30 new jobs to the local economy.
“Our growth and expansion plans, as well as the pharmacy designation that classifies our dispensaries as essential services in Arizona, have given us the need to hire more people,” said Shahara. “We have held virtual job fairs to encourage applications for the dozens of open positions we are looking to fill – including jobs on the retail floor, in our cultivation and growing facilities, and in our administrative office.”
To help support the increased demand that local food banks are experiencing due to the current pandemic, the Mint is also launching a cannabis recipe contest that gives back. Now through May 20, patients are invited to email a cannabis-infused recipe and photo to [email protected] for a chance to have their recipe created and sold in the Mint Café. Ten finalists, chosen by a team of chefs, will each receive either $100 in cash or $100 worth of product from the dispensary. One grand prize winner will receive $2,500 in cash, in addition to the Mint making a $2,500 donation to a local food bank in the winner’s name. The Mint also plans to create a digital cookbook of all the cannabis-infused recipes that it collects through the contest. Patients will be able to purchase the cookbooks for $4.20, and all proceeds will be donated to a local food bank.
The Guadalupe dispensary is open Sunday to Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.. The Mesa dispensary is open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.
About The Mint Dispensary
The Mint Dispensary operates state-of-the-art medical marijuana facilities across the nation. With a reputation for providing high-quality products and personalized service, The Mint Dispensary offers the most diverse selection of vape cartridges, flower/buds, edibles and concentrates. An innovator in the field, The Mint Dispensary launched the nation’s first cannabis kitchen of its kind in October 2018. For more information about The Mint Dispensary, visit themintdispensary.com.