Pot, provisions, advice and more

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PUBLISHED: Friday, April 18, 2014 at 12:05 am

Meet the state’s new medical marijuana shopping experience.

The Minerva Canna Group, one of New Mexico’s 23 licensed nonprofit medical cannabis producers, has launched what owner Erik Briones calls a mall-like experience for its clients. Customers at the Los Ranchos facility can now shop for a vaporizer, growing supplies and maybe even a hemp T-shirt while they pick up their medical pot.

Briones said adding a heavy retail component to the 4-year-old operation provides his more than 4,000 registered clients with a more convenient experience, while also helping him with his annual tax bill.

But the move is also about positioning. Should New Mexico go the way of Colorado and Washington and legalize recreational marijuana, Briones thinks he would already have a solid business model in place.

“We’re certainly trying to put ourselves in that position to be ahead of the pack and have a facility ready for that day,” he said. “But, in the meantime, we’re really just trying to provide services for our patients.”

For now, Minerva remains closed to all but card-carrying members of New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program. A staff member stationed at the front door checks to make sure everyone who enters has the right credentials.

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