|Photo: Daily Mail|
|Retail hydroponics store weGrow is being called the “Walmart of weed.” It will open Saturday in Sacramento, selling everything needed to grow cannabis except the seeds.|
The Walmart of weed is coming to Sacramento, California on Saturday.
Far from denying the ambitious title, weGrow, a huge hydroponics store marketing itself as a retail outlet for people cultivating marijuana for medical use, is embracing it, reports Peter Hecht at The Sacramento Bee.
The 10,000-square-foot weGrow store, at 1537 Fulton Avenue in Sacramento, is the first national franchise for a company billing itself as a “supply and training destination” for legal cannabis cultivators.
The business started in Oakland last year as a warehouse store called iGrow. It doesn’t sell any marijuana — but it does have marijuana plants there for “display purposes only,” reports the U.K. Daily Mail.
|Photo: Daily Mail|
|Manager Mike Garcia expects weGrow to have a huge economic impact on Sacramento.|
”We do not sell any medical marijuana here,” said Michael Garcia, operator of the Sacramento weGrow franchise. “It’s just for display; nothing in here blooms.”
The gardening outlet got national press last year for its unabashed embrace of marijuana culture, featuring an onsite doctor offering medical cannabis recommendations and sales staff pitching grow lights and nutrients while teaching people how to maximize bud yield.
Garcia said he believes weGrow will have a tremendous economic impact on Sacramento.
The Oakland store is now being repurposed as a non-retail distribution hub for a network of retail hydroponics outlets. The Sacramento store, billed as “the first honest hydro store,” will soon be followed by weGrow franchises in Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and New Jersey in coming months, according to the Bee. (New Jersey?! They don’t even allow patients to grow.)
“I just thought it was a statement to have something close to the state Capitol,” said Dhar Mann, who founded the original iGrow in January 2010. “It’s a statement of how progressive the industry has become. We’re all about coming out of the shadows.”
The hydroponics industry is doing quite well, thank you, with 15 states and the District of Columbia legalizing cannabis for medicinal use. But unlike weGrow, most hydroponics stores don’t want to talk about growing marijuana, and in fact, mentioning pot can get you ejected from most of them.
The stores get weird quickly around mentions of marijuana because its cultivation and possession remain illegal for any purpose under federal law.
But weGrow employees will talk to you about growing marijuana once you show proof of a physician’s recommendation for medical use, according to Garcia. “If you do not have a script, we’re not willing to discuss cannabis with you,” he said.
The store will offer onsite cannabis cultivation classes for those with proper paperwork. It also promotes an online “University of Cannabis.”
On Saturday, weGrow will hold a noon to 4 p.m. expo featuring medical marijuana suppliers and support businesses at the Sacramento store.