By SPENSER R. HALEY
Veterans Life Community Advisory Board
As a patient who has a prescription for medical marijuana, it has been difficult at times finding a dispensary that offers outstanding service as well as exceptional product — let alone one owned and operated by a fellow Army veteran.
Fortunately, that is precisely what I found when I ventured into Hope Alternative Medicine a little less than a year ago.
Scott Blevins served in the U.S. Army from 1976-1984 as a truck driver and warehouse supply specialist. He was inspired to explore this method of homeopathic medicine while watching his brother suffer from cancer. He watched as the prescription meds, though helpful with pain management, kept his brother from enjoying daily life. So he and his wife Kim set out on a mission.
Researching the medicinal properties of cannabis, they immediately made the decision to open a dispensary. It was a dream discussed and realized with long-time friend and business partner Nick Rodgers.
There is something to be said for their work ethic as well. Opening a dispensary isn’t easy. A license must be obtained and then a location must be found. The location is the more difficult of the two; because of the social stigma against cannabis, it’s hard to find an accepting landlord. The location then must meet code. The product must be arranged and word of the opening sent out to potential patients.
These people accomplished all of this in only six weeks — no small feat.
Scott and Kim have two sons. The eldest son, Nicholas, is currently in the U.S. Army, having deployed five times. The younger son, Sean, helps run the dispensary, located in Silverdale across Ridgetop Boulevard from Best Buy.
As soon as you enter the shop, it is evident that compassion is a leading trait with the folks in charge. The shop is well stocked with an array of products, from edibles and tinctures to flour and concentrates. The staff is knowledgeable and patient, as well as quick to research a question should they happen to not know off-hand. Priced for the consumer, all products are tested to ensure the quality standard set forth by the Blevinses and Rodgers.
They epitomize hard work and compassion. From the moment I entered the shop, I could tell these were good people, the kind that care more about your experience than what is in the till at closing time. They have pledged to make annual donations to numerous charities such as The Humane Society, Washington State Patrol, and the American Cancer Society.
I am happy to have found a shop where I can feel comfortable. As someone who deals with PTSD, finding comfort outside of my house is hard to come by. I encourage those that have the necessary paperwork to give them a chance to win you over as they have with me.
— Spenser R. Haley is a U.S. Army veteran and a member of the Veterans Life Community Advisory Board.