With purple walls, tropical plants, and a soothing spa-like atmosphere, Elemental Wellness is anything but the stereotypical medical cannabis dispensary.
“There are no bars on the window and there’s no guy at the door with a gun,” says Elemental Wellness manager Steve Peterson. “It’s very much a healing facility.”
Members are welcomed at the door by friendly, professional staff, and the bright open concept space inspires healthier living through relaxation, exercise, and proper nutrition. In fact, flowers and hash are just a small part of the wellness program at this state-of-the-art dispensary.
Located a stone’s throw from Northern California’s Silicon Valley at 985 Timothy Dr. in San Jose, Elemental Wellness also offers top-notch holistic services, educational classes, and a host of events throughout the year like tax-free Mondays, summer barbecues, jazz concerts, and a 420 fair. Members can benefit from yoga, Tai Chi, therapeutic massage, and Reiki, as well as cannabis cooking classes where even beginners can learn to craft mouth-watering medicated meals like caramelized onion and apple cornbread, broccoli rabe and pancetta, and, instead of someone else’s special brownies for dessert, make-your-own pot-infused pecan pie.
There are probably more cannabis laws than there are cannabis strains, but Elemental Wellness, open since 2010, continues to expand its membership, products, and services to new levels. For clients not well enough to drive themselves to the dispensary, Elemental Wellness also offers delivery services.
“The teenage years of marijuana are over,” says Peterson, explaining the association of marijuana with hippies, stoners, tie-dyed T-shirts, and the smell of patchouli are long gone.
In 2018, when California is expected to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana to people over the age of 21, he says the stigma surrounding marijuana soon go up in smoke and become a distant memory, like prohibition. There are more than 350 premium products and high-quality cannabis medicines to choose from at Elemental Wellness. The menu includes cookies, chocolate bars, lozenges, bath salts, balms, beverages, concentrates, clones, seeds, and accessories to help alleviate a variety of health problems from itchy skin to insomnia. Women will find cannabis infused feminine care products relieve PMS and menopause, while seniors can find relief from sore joints and muscles in a cartridge containing kush.
Suffering from anxiety or lack of appetite? Try a Blueberry Bite by Lifted Bite, perfect for small doses. Got a migraine? Rub some CBD lotion on your temples. Looking for a little euphoria? Go for the crunchy caramel popcorn.
“Cannabis is an alternative,” says Peterson. “It’s a natural element that you can add to your life.”
All products contain varying levels of THC while others deliver on the CBD. This is where free private consultations with certified health care professionals at Elemental Wellness come in handy, either on site or via Skype. Because cannabis has been considered black market medicine, even 20 years after it was legalized for anyone with a doctor’s note, Peterson says the vast majority of people aren’t aware of its benefits or how to use it properly.
“As an industry, we’re way behind,” he says. “Education is going to be important.” Eventually, Elemental Wellness hopes to install a museum-style educational kiosk at the dispensary but for now, members trust the experts to answer any questions they might have about medicinal cannabis. All kinds of information and helpful resources can also be found on the company’s website.
“We want to educate you on how to consume it in a responsible way,” says Peterson. “I think dispensaries will double as classrooms.”
Despite being pushed from a business park to the industrial outskirts of San Jose in 2015, alongside a recycling plant and a gravel yard, as well as competing with illegal delivery services and confusing laws that change constantly, Elemental Wellness sees more than 500 members a day and already has the market mapped out post-Proposition 64. While the government breaks its back over new packaging and distribution laws, Peterson says Elemental Wellness is working on its own brand packaging that appeals to the wider market.
“That’s going to be the journey in the years to come,” he says.