Arizona-based marijuana certification center finding success in Nevada

The Source marijuana dispensary co-owner and CEO Andrew Jolley says several people a day used to walk into his dispensary and ask how to obtain a medical marijuana card.

Now, he only needs to point next door, where Sun Valley Certification Clinic opened in October at 2550 S. Rainbow Blvd.

“We knew that they shared our same passion for educating patients and helping them learn more about the medical properties of cannabis,” said Jolley, the president of the Nevada Dispensary Association, which supports dispensary owners. “We knew we’d be able to collaborate in helping patients and prospective patients get access to the information they were looking for.”

Husband-and-wife team Dustin and Andrea Klein said they expanded Arizona-based Sun Valley to Nevada after Jolley contacted them. Medical marijuana is legal in Arizona; voters there in November opted against legalizing recreational marijuana.

“(The Source) can send patients to us who have questions regarding doctors and the process, and we can also refer them to the dispensary,” Dustin Klein said, adding that the businesses are not financially linked.

The Source offers more than 30 strains of medical marijuana, as well as edibles and concentrates.

Dustin Klein said he got his medical marijuana card more than a decade ago to help him cope with psoriatic arthritis pain he suffered while in college in Colorado. The longtime marijuana advocate was inspired to open Sun Valley after his parents died within 18 months of each other, from pancreatic cancer and Lou Gehrig’s disease. Clinical trials have shown that people with those ailments can benefit from medical marijuana, he said, but his parents were barred from trying marijuana because their federal government jobs forbid its use.

Dustin Klein partnered with Andrea, who has 15 years of medical management experience, to start Sun Valley three years ago.

The Kleins say obtaining a card once took as long as a few months, and Sun Valley has streamlined the process to the point where they can receive prescriptions the same day their applications are filed. Sun Valley charges $150 for the service, in addition to a $100 state fee for new patients and $75 for renewing customers.

The first medical marijuana dispensary in Clark County, Euphoria Wellness, opened in fall 2015. Dustin Klein said the industry has changed quickly, especially with Nevada voters’ decision to legalize recreational marijuana use and possession in November’s election. Sun Valley’s owners don’t expect the law change to affect their business.

Sun Valley provides medical marijuana certification for minors for free because it’s difficult for minors to obtain a card, the Kleins said. The clinic has certified about 150 minors, with a guardian’s and a doctor’s approval.

“It’s not a sales pitch; it’s to help people,” Dustin Klein said. “We’re just trying to make it easy for the patients. It’s a very small aspect of the business, but it’s important to us.”

To reach View intern reporter Kailyn Brown, email kbrown@viewnews.com or call 702-387-5233. Find her on Twitter: @KailynHype.

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