Article by Emma Reilly, The Hamilton Spectator
Walking into Pacifico Health and Wellness in Westdale feels much like walking into a spa: white walls, exposed wood beams, chic lighting, and calm atmosphere.
Nevermind the fact that it’s a medical marijuana dispensary.
Tamara Hirsch seems like an unlikely advocate for a controversial industry that exists in a legal grey area. The mom of two, who has blond hair and elfin looks, has opened two successful medical marijuana dispensaries in Hamilton in the past year — one on James Street North and the second in Westdale — and says she’d like to open more.
Her store, which offers everything from traditional marijuana buds to THC-infused bath bombs and shaving cream, is only one example of a string of dispensaries that have opened in Hamilton within the past year.
Hirsch says that her businesses operate under strict
standards. To access products, patrons must be admitted to a locked inner room beyond the lobby. At the end of the day, merchandise is stored in a class-6 safe. Patrons must have a doctors’ note or medical marijuana prescription, must answer an eight-page intake form to suss out the likelihood or risk of addiction, and sign a code of conduct for responsible use.
However, Hirsch says standards at other dispensaries can be much more lax.