Santa Ana marijuana dispensary modernizes the way to purchase pot

There’s a new joint in town.

MedMen, one of the largest marijuana retailers in the country, opened its newest medical marijuana dispensary last month in Santa Ana, making its 3,000 square feet of retail space one of the largest dispensaries in the county.

The cannibis firm offers around 1,000 products, including concentrates, marijuana buds, edibles, canine/feline products and topicals.

“Our aim is to make this a true retail experience by being innovative and bringing in new products,” said Daniel Yi, 50, MedMen director of communications.


The store has iPads on tables so a customer can interact and learn about a product.

Tables have different products, such as edibles, with an iPad above it listing the price and logistics of the item.

Sealed jars containing marijuana buds have microscope lids and a slider that allows a customer to smell the product. An iPad tells the price, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, content as well as the terpene content, which give the plants their scents.

“Most people just see a lot of THC and think, ‘Whoa, I’m going to get blasted,’ but the terpenes tell you what else is inside the marijuana, such as limonene, which is an anti-depressant and anti-anxiety terpene that you can also find in citrus rinds,” said general manager Roberto Gualtieri, 28.


State lawmakers on Thursday sent the governor a bill aimed at preventing the drug from being marketed to minors. (Aug. 25, 2017) (Sign up for our free video newsletter here

Terpenes also determine the taste of the marijuana so limonene would give it a citrus flavor.

Debbie Frank, 57, of Anaheim visited the store for CBD oil.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the most prevalent chemical compounds of marijuana and it can come in oils, edibles, vapes and flower.

Frank bought CBD mints.

“I think the store is beautiful,” Frank said. “You don’t feel rushed, and you peruse and look and learn. It is very appealing.”

Frank said she suffers several headaches a week and one to two migraines a month.

“I feel it coming, and I take my CBD, and within 20 minutes it is gone,” she said.


Frank has had headaches and migraines throughout her life and has tried a number of painkillers, but nothing works as well for her as the CBD, she said.

“Plus, pain meds can come with addiction,” she said.

Yi said that while the state has come a long way there still is a way to go before marijuana is normalized.

“Two council members came to our grand opening; that’s how far we have come,” Yi said. “Personally I would like to see that transition from ‘Reefer Madness’ to marijuana actually becoming mainstream.”

MedMen plans to sell recreational marijuana in January — if the city allows it.

Santa Ana City Council member Juan Villegas said while he appreciates the responsible use of cannabis for medical purposes, marijuana remains a drug that poses risks of addiction and other harmful effects.

“With 28 years in law enforcement and delinquency prevention, I have seen first-hand the dangers of marijuana, particularly on our youth,” Villegas said in an email.

“Medical cannabis is a legitimate industry, however, many proponents of legalization and decriminalization do not make this clear and further diminish the dangers with the edibles such as cookies and candies that target our youth.


“It is important to raise awareness and educate the public, rather than continue down the path of normalizing marijuana use and ignoring the risk and dangers,” Villegas said.

Customers visiting MedMen must be over 21. A medical recommendation from a doctor must be given for purchase.

MedMen is at 2141 S. Wright St., Santa Ana. For more information, call (714) 515-8506.

JENNIFER LANE is a contributor to Times Community News.