Store owner Trevor Reed stands aside marijuana plant at Natural Rx
Photo credit: Ty Belknap
Medical marijuana thrives in Placitas
On April 20, a Placitas area marijuana dispensary a day to celebrate the drug and push for broader legalization. Nobody really knows why the number “420” is a code for pot, but the drug’s users have, for decades, marked the date as a day to use pot together. Thousands of people celebrated the unofficial counterculture holiday by openly smoking pot in Colorado and Washington where it was recently legalized.
But nobody was openly smoking anything at Natural Rx that day. A mellow group gathered at the store at 30 Frontage Road, just north of the I-25 exit 242 interchange, to barbecue and listen to live music in the courtyard. “It’s just a customer appreciation day, really,” said owner Trevor Reed. There was nothing outrageous going on there, but felt like a demilitarized zone in the War on Drugs—despite the cameras, safes, and a security guard.
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. It is definitely not legal in New Mexico, though legislation to decriminalize possession of small amounts almost passed in the 2013 legislative session. State Representative Emily Kane said that, based on this year’s response, she expects that a bill for legalization might be considered in 2015. Recreational users might soon be in the market for a pot store. Reed said that the threat of federal law enforcement, in spite of state laws legalizing medical marijuana, seems to have decreased.
“Last year, President Obama said, ‘We have bigger fish to fry,’ so I have been able to just relax and take care of business,” said Reed. “State agencies have been very professional and easy to work with.”
Natural Rx has been a growing business for about two years, hiring up to a dozen employees. “We’re a part of the local economy,” said Reed. “And we pay a lot of gross receipts tax,” indicating that business is good.
Reed is a long-time Placitas resident and general contractor. He was a managing owner of McCole’s Pub at the Homestead Village Shopping Center. For two years before opening Natural Rx, he worked for a legal marijuana grower in Oregon, learning the trade. Reed produces all the marijuana at his dispensary at a state-of-art indoor growing facility. He grows a wide variety of strains, which are processed and packaged for sale in various forms which can be smoked or ingested in cookies and candy. Care is taken to label products properly and to specify potency. Baking cookies and making candy is contracted out locally.
Reed says, “There are a lot of legitimate medical uses for marijuana. I was surprised by the number of old folks that we get as customers. One of our least expensive strains is high in cannabinoids and low in THC, so for a lot of people, it offers pain relief with lower psychoactive effects.”
Not that he has anything against the psychoactive effects. Reed doesn’t offer marijuana as a cure-all, but says, “What’s wrong with enjoying a relaxing evening at home without chronic pain or post traumatic stress disorder? This is the best business I’ve ever had. Everybody leaves happy.”
For more information, visit: naturalrxmn.com. The site includes a listing of conditions that might be treated by marijuana, information about how to get a prescription, and contact information.
Photo credit: Barb Belknap
New salon opens in Placitas
A new sign was put in place of the old La Bonne Vie sign last month in Homestead Village Shopping Center in Placitas. It reads “Placitas Salon” and signals the new business of Mary Gray, who worked most recently as a stylist at La Bonne Vie Salon and Day Spa, and then at Chics With Scissors.
“So far it’s fun!” she said, when asked how the new business was going. “Julie is back here in the salon, and we also have a new stylist, William from Pagosa Springs, and a new nail technician.”
Placitas Salon boasts improved lighting and ambiance, and is hoping to attract bridal parties and other groups that would like spa or styling services done together. They also provide individual services to men, women, and children. Walk-ins are welcome, though Mary suggests that it is best to make an appointment at 867-6361.