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New Amherst business offers twist on marijuana stereotypes

Dr. Greenthumb owner Matt Melanson says his downtown Amherst location will offer only legal forms of medicinal marijuana derivatives, like CBD in pill form, tinctures and creams.
Dr. Greenthumb owner Matt Melanson says his downtown Amherst location will offer only legal forms of medicinal marijuana derivatives, like CBD in pill form, tinctures and creams.

AMHERST, N.S. – There seems to be a bit of confusion about the new store around the corner from the local police department. They say you can get marijuana there.

Dr. Greenthumb quietly opened its doors this week offering downtown Amherst a variety of familiar marijuana paraphernalia. There are bongs big and small and pipes of different designs. T-shirts line the wall next to the rolling papers and behind the counter owner Matt Melanson can be found helping answer customer questions when not checking his smartphone as he builds up the Dr. Greenthumb brand, which includes a dispensary and members-only lounge in Moncton.

Dr. Greenthumb quietly opened its doors this week offering downtown Amherst a variety of familiar marijuana paraphernalia. There are bongs big and small and pipes of different designs. T-shirts line the wall next to the rolling papers and behind the counter owner Matt Melanson can be found helping answer customer questions when not checking his smartphone as he builds up the Dr. Greenthumb brand, which includes a dispensary and members-only lounge in Moncton.

What is not for sale is marijuana – unlike his Campbellton, N.B. shop, which was shut down at the beginning of the new year after a police raid saw Melanson charged with possession and trafficking.

Therein probably lies the confusion.

“I think they feel there is something more to this than there really is,” Melanson said of the Campbellton charges. “They think I’m part of some type of crime. I’m just really… a hard worker.”

None of the charges against Melanson and the Campbellton dispensary have been tested in court so until such time he’s decided to move ahead with opening his Amherst location. What many don’t know is that Amherst played a role crafting the design and direction of Melanson’s third location. It wasn’t by chance he has sought out a location in the border community.

“I have about 45 people that are members from Amherst alone that are in Moncton and I’m all about Risk, the board game, so it’s all about hitting different surroundings. I’m just on the border of Nova Scotia, going into New Brunswick, so anyone going to Halifax or going into New Brunswick has to pass here and then it brings a lot of people into a small community.”

So what does Dr. Greenthumb offer besides the bongs Cheech and Chong made widely familiar through their comedy movies? Medicine, Melanson says.

Melanson explains CBD, or cannabidiol, is the active medicine in marijuana while THC is the high. You can have one without the other, he says, and CBD is legally available at the Amherst head shop without a prescription.

“In Amherst I don’t want nothing to do with the cannabis side, the bud form, just CBD because I think it’s a really good market where people don’t realize how much benefit is from the CBD,” he said. “I planned on having a head shop in Amherst just dispensing the CBD products.”

Every community seems to have a common denominator for seeking medicinal relief from marijuana or CBD, Melanson said, and with the number of active members at his Moncton lounge, he’s interested to learn what ails Amherst.

“In Moncton it was really a lot of people with cancer. In Campbellton it was tremendous for Parkinson’s. There seemed to be for every one cancer patient there were 25 with Parkinson’s.”
Which brings us to that police station around the corner from Dr. Greenthumb. Melanson says he’s been above-board with police, paying them a visit early into renovating and preparing the Amherst location for its opening.

“I told them exactly what I’m doing.”

Those plans also include a February podcast that will feature local musicians as well as world music, sit-down broadcasts and local discussion about, obviously, marijuana in all its forms.

To learn more about Dr. Greenthumb, find them online at www.weedzzombieteez.com, or their Facebook page by searching for Dr. Greenthumb Dispensary Inc.

christopher.gooding@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNchris

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