AUBURN, Maine — Remedy Compassion Center has been in business just over two years, quietly selling medical marijuana out of a former furniture store next to Craft-Mania in the Auburn Plaza.
Founders Tim and Jenna Smale won’t talk patient numbers beyond saying they’re on target for initial projections (655 patients by year three).
But business is clearly good.
Last year, they gave away a quarter-million dollars in discounts and free product.
Five months ago, Remedy got so busy it had to restrict new patients to residents of Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties.
“We have some people who pass two other dispensaries on the way here,” Executive Director Tim Smale said. “At this point, we’re not able to serve everybody.”
Remedy was the first of the state’s eight nonprofit dispensaries to start serving patients. Along with a staff of 13, the Smales sell more than 20 varieties of medicinal marijuana. The strains have formal names — Trainwreck, Harlequin, White Widow — and in-house nicknames such as Remedy No. 1.
With the help of patient surveys, strains are flagged for specific ailments, such as pain, inflammation or depression, and for certain side effects, such as feeling creative, focused or tired. The marijuana sells for $13.54 a gram, or about $380 an ounce.
The average patient is over 50, female and on a fixed income. Most make two or three grams last one to two weeks.
“When their check arrives on or around the first, that’s the busiest time for us,” Smale said.
It takes a certified doctor’s note and state of Maine