“Home grown” is taking on a whole new meaning downtown as a new marijuana establishment is poised to open up on Broad Street, giving local connoisseurs a second option to purchase recreational cannabis in Globe.
Arizona Global Cannabis Co. expects to open its doors the first week of April at 290 N. Broad Street, the former location of Bacon’s Saddle Shop. The new shop will give cannabis users on the east side of town an option closer to home than Mohave Cannabis Club on the west side.
Globe’s second recreational cannabis establishment will be operated by Mike Wingersky, who owns the cultivation facility in the old bowling alley on East Ash behind the Holiday Inn.
All approvals from City Council and the Planning and Zoning Commission have been given for the shop and even the Globe Historic Preservation Advisory Commission is on board, so all that is left is for the owners to tidy up after construction and put product on the shelves.
Global Cannabis will sell its own specialty products created in the commercial kitchen Wingersky built at the cultivation facility, including CBD products for pets and cannabis-infused peanut butter cups created by his wife Cheryl Wingersky.
He says familiarity with the process and the community helped his team get through the regulatory hoops and he and Cheryl are happy to offer their products to Gila County residents.
“Everything is in place and the city has been great,” Wingersky says. “Dana (Burkhardt, zoning administrator for the City of Globe) and his crew did a great job helping us get through the process.”
City Council gave final approval at its Feb. 28 meeting, reporting no public resistance to the project. Both Globe Police Chief Dale Walters and Fire Chief Gary Robinson registered public support and City Manager Paul Jepson commended the Wingerskys for their positive contributions to local business.
“The applicant … has stepped up and met his word and his commitments as we’ve worked through the bugs, and we do have a good history of him following up,” Jepson said prior to Council’s unanimous vote in favor of the project. “He invested what he needed to invest to meet his commitments.”
The only comment the City received was from Farley’s Pub owner Eileen Townsend, who had no objections to the establishment, but pointed out that there are already parking problems on Broad Street.
“Often times (sic) there is no parking available for my employees when they come to work in the early afternoon,” Townsend wrote. “I have several elderly customers with mobility issues who often have to circle the block repeatedly, waiting for a spot to open.”
She suggested two dedicated spaces for the establishment during normal business hours, to which Jepson replied that downtown parking is one of City Council’s top priorities in coming years.
The Planning and Zoning Commission received no public input or comment at its hearing held a week earlier on Feb. 22.
Arizona grown competition
Parking aside, more competition in the marijuana marketplace could mean lower prices and Wingersky hopes to provide that along with locally grown and produced creations, as well as a selection of edibles and products from other Arizona vendors.
“We’re going to price it so nobody has to leave Globe (to buy cannabis) and we’ll even give discounts to medical patients,” says Cheryl Wingersky. “We’ve been wanting to do this for a long time to make sure people have a place to buy legally.”
The grand opening of the Arizona Cannabis Co. will take place at about the same time as the Mohave Cannabis Club expects to have its grand opening after a “soft” opening last November. Mohave CC was slated to open in July 2022, but the after-effects of COVID — both on the supply chain and the health of people involved in the process — delayed that by several months.
Mohave CC is located in Cobre Valley Plaza, on the corner of Russell Road and Highway 60 near Judy’s Cookhouse, and is run by Shelby Jones, general manager of the Globe and Safford establishments owned by Mohave.
Jones believes there is sufficient demand in the region, given the only alternatives are the long drive to the Valley or a trip to Payson. Residents in communities such as Miami, Roosevelt and Tonto Basin are also within range.
Jones has been in the cannabis industry for more than five years and says Mohave CC has already cultivated a solid customer base in a few short months.
“Our customers are happy we’re here,” Jones says. “They don’t have to commute to buy cannabis, but I don’t think the competition is going to hurt.”
Mohave grows its cannabis in Bullhead City and ownership and management are home-grown as well. The company has been in the Arizona cannabis industry for more than a decade and specializes in serving the Arizona market.
Both of Globe’s establishments will be Arizona-owned and operated businesses — Wingersky is from Glendale — which is becoming increasingly rare as large cannabis companies take over the market throughout the state.
“Our company takes care of people in rural Arizona from a small-town perspective,” Safford native Jones says. “We care about what’s happening in rural Arizona, unlike the big, multi-state operators of the world.”
In an era of consolidation that has created huge national retailers such as Trulieve and Curaleaf, which have political and economic clout far beyond Arizona’s borders, Globe is fortunate to have local operators in the community.
While medical patients will have to purchase lower-THC products and be subject to the 16% excise tax levied on recreational products, there is a chance Global Cannabis will soon be able to offer medical marijuana. Wingersky is one of 74 applicants for a “rural backfill” dispensary license and hopes to be able to sell both recreational and medical cannabis in the near future.
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), which regulates cannabis in the state, distributed a tranche of six medical licenses on March 10 (after GMT went to press), to ensure residents in all 15 Arizona counties have access to medicinal cannabis.
In ADHS vernacular, medical marijuana outlets are designated “dispensaries” while adult-use, recreational shops are referred to as “establishments.”
Medical patients can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana leaf and edibles containing higher doses of THC than what is allowable on the recreational side.
The tax rate on medical cannabis includes a 6% sales tax (TPT) along with a 2.3% local sales tax for the City of Globe.
Prop 207, which passed in November 2020, legalizes possession of up to an ounce for adults over the age of 21 and allows up to five grams of concentrates with a limit on THC content of edibles of 10mg per piece and 100mg per package. Given the level of taxation on recreational marijuana, consumers can get a significant tax break with a medical card in a dispensary.
The number of medical dispensary licenses is tied directly to the number of traditional pharmacies in the state, but there must also be at least one medical dispensary in each county. Gila County is one of six that will get the new licenses, as will Apache, Cochise, Graham, Greenlee and Santa Cruz counties.
The licenses are forever associated with the counties that receive them, so if Wingersky does not win the certificate lottery, it is likely the dispensary will go to an operator in Payson.
By statute, medical marijuana dispensary certificates are limited to one for every 10 traditional pharmacies registered in the state of Arizona, but ADHS “may issue nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary registration certificates in excess of this limit if necessary to ensure there is at least one dispensary registration certificate in each county where an application has been approved,” according to the ADHS website.
There are currently 131 active nonprofit medical marijuana licensed dispensaries in the state.
Cannabis users have spent $1.4 billion each year since the beginning of recreational sales in January 2021. Although the medical market has been around since 2013, recreational sales have skyrocketed while the medical market has nearly collapsed in that time.
In 2021, medical marijuana sales accounted for nearly 55% — about $760 million — of the total. In 2022, the recreational cannabis market represented nearly 70% of sales, or more than $950 million, as the medical market crashed to slightly more than $500 million.
Overall total cannabis sales for both markets since the advent of legal adult-use in January 2021 is $2.9 billion.
Journalist, writer and editor who has worked for community newspapers for more than 15 years. After four years at Davis-Monthan AFB and a few years living in Tucson, moved to California to find his fortune. He is happy to be back in Arizona, in the mountains he loves.