Dispensary owner battles pot misconceptions

Colorado may have legalized marijuana, but retailers still have their work cut out for them when it comes to establishing viable, accepted and respected business in the Northern Colorado community. Christine Romarine, owner of the Infinite Wellness dispensary on North College Avenue, shared what it’s like being a business woman mistaken as a drug dealer, and how she’s working to combat that stereotype.

Question: Can you briefly describe the types of marijuana you sell?

A: We sell flowers, concentrates, edibles and salves. We take particular pride in our own cannabis, from the way we flush to the way we cure. We use only high-quality nutrients and no harsh chemicals. We have strains that help people with a variety of ailments including insomnia, stress and pain.

Q: How is Infinite Wellness different than other dispensaries?

A: We are sticklers to the rules. We have been criticized by patients who didn’t have the proper paperwork or other credentials to shop here, but I will not bend rules for anyone. I also believe strongly in appreciating our customers. Our employees are professional and clean-cut individuals who treat our customers with dignity and respect. We also offer special deals for our members and a point system for everyone. We are also forming a group with a couple of other dispensaries in Fort Collins which will include a compliance “contract.” This will assure we are all following the rules, and operating with integrity and respect for all local and state laws as well as educating customers on proper use of all cannabis products including proper dosing of edibles.

Q: How would you describe your client demographic?

A: Our Fort Collins store tends to have people in their 20s to people who are in their 60s; people who drive beat-up cars to those who drive Mercedes. I have been pleased to see people who are genuinely ill try an alternative to some of the harsher and harmful pharmaceuticals they’ve been taking. I have seen people’s health improve dramatically using cannabis. There are going to be those who choose cannabis over other drugs and alcohol, to use it to unwind and relax, but there will definitely be those who actually need it for a better sense of well-being.

Q: What are the most common misconceptions about what you do?

A: The most common misconceptions are that we are all millionaires. Our overhead is huge! I have to constantly reinvest in my business, so profits are not all that great. The state seems to find more and more ways for us to spend our money on compliance. There is also a stigma surrounding marijuana. It is frustrating to see there are still people who dismiss its medicinal attributes and see it as dangerous; particularly compared with alcohol or other drugs. I would like people to realize and appreciate just how tightly regulated we are. The state has implemented a sophisticated tracking system, leaving no room for dishonest behavior.

Q: What do you see are the biggest hurdles ahead for Northern Colorado dispensaries?

A: The biggest hurdles probably include acceptance. I hope people can realize that cannabis has been and always will be around. Isn’t it better to regulate it and collect taxes for our community?

Q: What is your most popular product?

A: Our most popular product would have to be our flower or the bud itself.

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