By RYAN ANDAZZO
PHOENIX (AP) — Inside a nondescript block building near Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, workers pack hundreds of vacuum-sealed glass jars with high-end marijuana. They will sell for a steep premium at medical dispensaries across the state.
Nearby, thousands of marijuana plants are meticulously hand-watered, hand-trimmed, and nurtured in a series of growing rooms.
The Grow Sciences cultivation business, like a few others in Arizona, has found a niche producing high-end marijuana that sells for about double the price of other products on the market, the reported.
The company doesn’t have a dispensary license from the state. Instead, it “rents” one from another company that does. Leasing licenses to grow marijuana allows entrepreneurs to break into the cannabis industry without also having to run a retail dispensary.
The operators of some of these farms say the arrangement allows them to focus on growing high-end marijuana that is in heavy demand. Customers pay top dollar and clear the shelves as soon as the products are in stock at dispensaries.
Grow Sciences launched in 2017 when CEO Mike Cuthriell and COO Matthew Blum decided to move into the Arizona market, taking experience they had in other states to what they describe as an open frontier in Arizona.
“I didn’t think patients were getting clean cannabis here,” Blum said, adding that many Arizona marijuana dispensaries focused on growing large quantities of marijuana, rather than quality. “There was a race to the bottom.”
And Arizona offered a good opportunity unlike other states, such as Colorado, where thousands of operators flooded the market.
“Arizona insulated themselves from that,” Blum said.
Because marijuana is illegal federally, all of the plant that is sold in a legalized state must be grown there and not transported across state lines.
For now, Arizona has issued