PHOENIX - Bill Brothers used to run a Christian radio station. The long-time broadcaster never imagined he would one day end up in the marijuana business.
“Not in my wildest dreams,” Brothers said.
About five years ago, Brothers and his son started a medical marijuana dispensary.
“When the marijuana opportunity presented itself, I had to pray on it, think about, ‘Is this good for society?’ Well, five years later, it’s great for society,” Brothers said.
The owner of Encanto Green Dispensary, Brothers, employs more than 150 employees while serving the medical needs of more than 13,000 patients, including cancer patients and veterans.
“They (veterans) say marijuana has saved their lives,” said Brothers.
The dispensary, which is just off Interstate 17 by Shamrock Foods, is 30,000 square feet and includes a greenhouse and an extraction laboratory.
The dispensary has roughly 15,000 plants and sells more than 100 different products, including more than 150 varieties of marijuana.
“We have strains that will make you happy, strains that will make you sleepy or hungry,” said Brothers.
Medical marijuana dispensaries employ about 15,000 people in Arizona and provide millions in revenue. Brothers would like to see the $150 cost for a medical marijuana card reduced to around $25 so more people can take advantage of the medicinal drug.
Along with the main dispensary in Phoenix, the company also has an eight-acre grow site about two hours outside of Phoenix, where most of the plants are genetically created and grown.
Once big enough, they are transported to the Phoenix location, where they are allowed to mature and then prepared for sale.