By R.J. Villa
Abatin Wellness Center in Sacramento, CA is attempting to set the new standard for medical marijuana cooperatives and collectives. This cooperative is taking a new approach to medical marijuana. They are offering a more in-depth and scientific approach to the cooperative experience â€“ consulting with and educating their patients, collecting feedback, and dispensing appropriate doses of their medication.
Abatin Wellness Center has recently been pushed to the media forefront when they started working with Montel Williams, the Emmy winning syndicated talk show host of 17 years and the national spokesperson for Partnership for Prescription Assistance. Formerly known as Capital Wellness Cooperative, Aundre Speciale still remains the cooperativeâ€™s executive director. Working together with Montel Williams, they look to take the next step in exploring the science and medical benefits found in cannabis. Abatin Wellness Center counsels medicinal marijuana patients on everything from addressing their condition to the proper dosages of cannabis.
â€œWe believe they’re coming in here to be educated,â€ Williams said at a press conference at the Abatin Wellness Center in June. â€œThey’re coming in here so they can feel comfortable. So to make them feel comfortable, we’re going to be providing them with more information and more guidance than, I believe, any facility in this country has attempted to do.â€
They do not have a listed or readily available telephone number. They are not on weedmaps.com, nor do they have a website. No advertising, no loud nug displays, not even a sign outside to indicate that it is a medical marijuana cooperative. Upon pulling up to the corner of 29th and U, you will notice the grey building looks more like a private practice doctor or dentist office. Walking through the door, you are placed through a metal detector and searched by a well dressed security guard in a business suit.
The paperwork process is quite extensive. Expect to answer a few questions about your medical condition and history. What they are trying to do at the Abatin Wellness Center is identify your medical condition and history, so the scientist has the ability to address each patient according to their specific needs.
Once inside Abatin Wellness Center, you will find that the reception desk, consultation area, and the dispensary counter carry the feel of a high end doctorâ€™s office. It is clean, posh and professional. Two HD televisions are on the wall with a video on loop of Montel Williams greeting you to Abatin Wellness Center. A couple of glass display cases house a framed, detailed history of marijuana.
As soon as your medical marijuana patient status is verified, you are sat down at a private desk for a one-on-one consultation with one of the Abatin Wellness Center scientists. This consultation will dive into specifics of your medical condition and the use of cannabis to treat the condition.
When I first sat down, I noticed a copy of the book â€œPlant Trichomes,â€ from the Advances in Botanical Research Series, sitting on the desk. I was greeted by a friendly scientist who politely introduced himself before diving right into the meat of my consultation. When we began, I thought I had already accumulated quite an extensive knowledge of cannabis and medical marijuana. As the consultation went on, I realized that I had only scratched the surface of the science behind cannabis.
The scientist went on to explain how we were essentially standing in a jungle surrounded by various plants and strains, and how scientists and doctors are now finally given the opportunity to study the specifics of how each strain effects each human body differently. We can all agree that the effect of a well grown OG Kush has a far more noticeable effect than most other strains. The scientist explained that we now have the opportunity to look beyond THC and CBD content and percentages, and can look at the other natural chemicals present in the more potent strains like OG Kush.
Up to this point, in-depth research on cannabis has been limited due to the lack of funding and the obvious legal restrictions. A perfect example of limitations on research is the â€œPlant Trichomesâ€ book on the desk. It was actually research on tobacco trichomes, yet one of the most informative books on the topic. The research they are doing at Abatin Wellness Center will only help strengthen the proof of the benefits of medical cannabis. Each scientist has access to a massive library of all the latest medical marijuana studies and findings in order to help each patient. Extensive research and patient input and feedback helps with proper strain identification and accurate prescriptions per condition.
The scientist working with me had a wealth of knowledge regarding medical cannabis. It was quite mind-expanding. I can honestly say the consultation was extremely informative, and it helped me zero in on treating my own conditions. I explained that I started using cannabis medically after voluntarily removing myself off of a mood stabilizing prescription medication that was adding unwanted body weight, killing my liver function, and hindering my social skills. I cracked a smile when I received the recommendation to try and find a solid Jack Lemon phenotype, as this matched what I had been medicating with for quite some time now.
I also explained the rough bouts with insomnia I had been dealing with for most of my adult life. I was advised that ingesting medical edibles, roughly 45 minutes prior to sleeping, would help me maintain my deep REM state instead of my typical segmented naps. This would allow the ingested marijuana to be at its most potent at the time I have been regularly susceptible to a disrupted sleep pattern. Upon taking this advice, I have noticed a deeper, more restful sleep, one that allows me to recall my dreams a little better.
The other major difference you will notice at Abatin Wellness Center is how they dispense their medication. They only dispense cannabis in 2.5 gram increments with a maximum of 5 grams per visit. No coupons or quantity discounts. No frequent buyer deals. No halves or ounces. This is their step to pull away from the street measurements and to stop illegal redistribution of their medication for recreation.
All medication has been quality tested for foreign contaminants, molds and microbes â€“ assuring its quality. The nugs are dispensed in amber glass jars, which add a great touch to keeping the medication fresh. True to the idea of cooperatives being non-profit, the marijuana is offered at cost: $3.20 a gram, plus sales tax. However, included in your visit is a $45.00 member fee that covers your consultation with the scientist.
Patients are also given a free sample blend of pre-grinded fresh cannabis. Each week the scientists mix a few strains together in order to create a full spectrum effect. The concept of the weekly pre-grinded blend is likened to a local ground coffee and is given to you fresh with new blends made each week. The two sativa blends, AWB3 and AWB4, I was given were relatively smooth, packed in a bubbler, but were even better in a vaporizer. Both blends had a helping hand in the writing of this article.
They had the popular Northern California strain, Black Diamond OG. It is a pure indica strain that is a cross between Blackberry Kush and Diamond OG. â€“Really thin orange pistils protruded out of the buds that had a vivid green and slight purple hue to them. This 100% indica cross was great for insomnia as well as for pain management.
The next strain we will take a look at has always been a favorite of mine â€“ Durban Poison. Cracking the jar, the potent odor verified its authenticity. A closer look under the microscope showed it was covered in fully ripe trichomes. The fluffy nugs delivered the sweet taste you would expect from this South African sativa. It was a great daytime medication that definitely stimulated my appetite and gave off an uplifting energy.
There has been quite a buzz about their Green Ribbon, with some tests for THC percentages topping the high teens and even into the twenties. This Green Crack hybrid strain has been crossed with Afghani and Trainwreck. This sativa dominant strain produced a very euphoric feeling, but not in an energetic way. Its calming effects would certainly help with those suffering from anxiety.
Their Jamaican Lyon was a solid representation for this famous CBD heavy strain. This strain has an interesting story behind its lineage. It comes from a fusion of strains from varying locations in North America and the Caribbean. Mountain Lion was the mother plant and was a cross between Rock Bud (2003 Cannabis Cup Winner) and Lion Heart out of Quebec, Canada. The father plant is called Jamaican Yarders, a Jamaican sativa that grows to be a massive 15 to 18 feet tall. This sativa was definitely creative and inspiring with a non-sedating, calming effect.
â€œWhy are we treating patients who seek out this medication like theyâ€™re some lesser member of society?â€ Williams said. â€œWe could set a new standard, not just for Sacramento, not just for California, not just for the other 16 states that allow it now and the District of Columbia, but also for the world.â€
Montel Williams has been a medical marijuana patient for the last decade since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He had found that the use of prescription drugs inhibited the function of his kidneys. He now uses medical cannabis to deal with the cramps and spasms associated with multiple sclerosis. Williams chose to become involved with the Sacramento location due to it being at the historical forefront of the medical cannabis movement here in Northern California. Williams is merely a consultant for Abatin Wellness Center, but has been looking into expanding this vision and opening several similar dispensaries across the country.
Abatin Wellness Centerâ€¨
2100 29th Street
Sacramento, CA 95817