Downtown Dispensary keeps serving community during COVID-19 outbreak

Tucson dispensaries deemed essential businesses during COVID-19

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - While some businesses may start to feel things slow, inside Downtown Dispensary, it’s all about moving quickly,

“All that’s happening is scan then go,” said Downtown Dispensary Director Moe Asnani

Their new signs show customers the new normal: A limit of 10 people at a time, no daily deals, and only pre-packaged orders. It’s the only way they can keep their product on the shelves since Asnani said people began buying up their legal limit in bulk.

“People were buying multiples than they were usually purchasing. That’s a kind of capacity that few dispensaries can sustain long term.”

For Downtown customer, Tim, that mentality is unsustainable for him as well.

“It’s a little expensive so I just get what I can," said Tim. He’s thankful for the new rules now in place so he can still get what he needs along with the other hundreds of cardholders.

“It felt like a normal day not like everywhere else—you go to Safeway and stuff and all the shelves are empty.”

By law, their doors must be open 30 hours a week. And with no drive-through option, it took getting creative.

“I totally believe in masks and gloves at this time," said Asnani.

It’s in order to keep serving the community safely while keeping those who serve safe.

“We employ over 100 people in this town and we want to make sure we can be there for our employees and the patients.”

Dispensaries are also encouraging you to use the online shopping tool to make your trip in and out even quicker.

Additional Steps Downtown Dispensary is Starting:

  • Mandating the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including masks and gloves for all their patient-facing and packaging employees. 
  • Eliminating deli-style dispensing, see-through sniffer jars and pre-packing cannabis from their grow and all third party cannabis at their cultivation facility in a sanitized packaging area.
  • Installing new hand sanitizer stations inside the waiting area for their patients. They have also installed a new handwashing station inside the dispensing area at the downtown location.
  • At the downtown location, they have converted the office building in the parking lot at 500 N. Sixth Ave into a second waiting room to accommodate the limit of 10 people inside at a time. They will put up a secondary waiting tent at Downtown’s second location when necessary.
  • They have purchased air purifiers in dispensing and waiting areas.
  • To ensure online menu accuracy and incentivizing the patients to place online pickup orders through their website. They have also sourced a new mobile debit machine that works on 4G and can take payments outside the building.

"When we eliminate our daily specials, the slowdown in foot traffic gives us a chance to take some of the steps above so we could be prepared for the new normal of operating as an essential business in uncertain times," it says in a Downtown Dispensary release. "We now want to offer our patients that place online pickup orders 20% off their total. This will apply to all products but cannot be combined with other specials or discounts."

Downtown will have new hours:

Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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