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Davis Journal

Cannabis pharmacy helping patients find relief

Apr 15, 2021 11:48AM ● By Becky Ginos

WEST BOUNTIFUL—Medical cannabis has been a source of controversy for several years. After lawmakers passed legislation to legalize it in Utah, carefully licensed pharmacies started to open. WholesomeCo Cannabis was the first one in Davis County and opened its doors in the old Carr printing building at 580 W. 100 North on Aug. 12, 2020. 

“We’re one of three operations in the state with a pharmacy and cultivation license,” said General Manager Richard Maloney. “We were growing in a temporary spot in North Salt Lake but it was too small so we moved to a 20,000 square foot greenhouse in Garland. We’d hoped to do it all at the same site but didn’t get approval (from the city).”

In addition to the pharmacy, WholesomeCo launched a delivery service. “We’re the first ones in the state to offer that,” he said. “We deliver as far as St. George. We average 20 to 25 deliveries on any given day.”

There are rural markets where people have to drive three hours to get here, said Maloney. “Others don’t have a car or are immunocompromised, ill or rely heavily on other people to take care of them. Our motto is ‘patients’ needs define what we do and how we do it.’ We truly mean it.”

The shop carries a wide variety of products and has three full-time and one remote pharmacist on staff. “First-time patients have a consultation with the pharmacist,” he said. “They help patients into the program and are our resident expert in dosing and the type of products for the condition they have.”

Conditions range from stage four cancer to Multiple Sclerosis and potentially an 8-year-old child with autism, Maloney said. “There is a wide array of conditions but most are for chronic pain. That is one of 16 qualifying conditions.”

“I love it,” said Pharmacist Kylee Shumway. “I’ve never been able to educate people as much as I can here. “The more products we offer the more patients can find what works for them. Even if patients have the same conditions they may have different needs.”

Most of their transactions are made in cash. “It’s federally illegal so very few companies will take the risk to accept credit or debit payments,” said Maloney. 

The shop also has full-time security. “They’re trained police officers,” he said. “We take security in our building very seriously. We want to keep our employees and patients safe. We have worked with the (local) police and they know every corner of this space. They’ve been amazing to work with.”

Although people were skeptical at first, Maloney said the businesses around WholesomeCo have been supportive. “We’ve been welcomed with open arms by Costco,” said Maloney. “Olive Garden delivered food one day. I think patients are pleasantly surprised when they come in at our professional and medical approach and it’s not like they’re buying it out of a basement.”

There’s a lot of misinformation, he said. “We want to get people educated about it. There’s a certain amount of propaganda.”

Some patients have been on opioids for years and they’ve been converted from pills to plant medicine, said Maloney. “It’s the coolest thing to see a person who has lost themselves with heavy pharmaceuticals to find help through plants. At the end of the day, if a patient wants relief they can try something that makes their life better.”

“Their memory is better and they’re more engaged,” said Shumway. “They’re totally different people. One woman who came in was in rough shape but I saw her start taking more pride in herself. It was a huge win for me. It’s been incredible.”