Ty Swenson
Herban Legends storefront at 9619 16th Ave s.w. in White Center. The art in the window is a sampling of local artists' work that adorns the walls inside. Owner Chris Cody hopes to make the art available to the public during White Center Art Walks every third Saturday of the month (during which time the dispensary will be closed).

SLIDESHOW: Herban Legends in White Center plans to be more than just a pot dispensary

Herban Legends opened their doors with little fanfare on May 4. Located at 9619 16th Ave s.w. in the heart of White Center’s business district, owner Chris Cody decided to keep things subtle. Only a hand carved sign proclaiming their address (9619) is displayed on the outside, with a small sign on the door listing hours of operation.

With a clientele limited to medical marijuana patients looking for a provider, Cody has big plans to make Herban Legends more than a place to procure marijuana and THC-infused products – providing a wide variety of alternative pain management possibilities.

For example, Cody is compiling a list of patients interested in the healing potential of acupuncture. Once the list reaches ten or more people he will bring in a licensed acupuncturist from the White Center community for a “co-op” session he said drives the price down from $90 - $100 a session to $20-$30.

He plans to bring in a physical therapist as well with patients sharing the cost and driving down the price. Cody does not plan to take a cut for these services and reiterated they will only be available for card-carrying medical marijuana patients.

Herban Legends will also have homeopathic remedies on hand, from flower essences to Palo Santo wood, described by Cody as a “sacred wood for energetic cleansing that is ethically harvested” in Peru from dead trees or fallen branches only. The wood is burned like an incense stick to release its cleansing benefits.

The walls of Herban Legends are decorated with artwork from local artists Jenna Colby and Brendan Wenberg (with plans to add more artists over time). The artwork is for sale to patients and Cody said he hopes to break out of the private establishment mold once a month and open his doors for the White Center Art Walk (every third Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.). He said the actual dispensary (located in the back of the store) will close during the Art Walk so the general public is welcome.

The inclusion of art seems to jive with Cody’s take on non-traditional medicines: “If it takes your mind off it (the pain), it works as a pain killer,” he said.

Cody also plans to hold classes for patients that want to grow their own marijuana, bringing in licensed growers to teach at $20 to $30 a session.

Rather than simply providing a list of medical strains available and their cost per gram, Cody will create a “menu” that includes customer feedback on the benefits of one plant versus another and different effects based on ingestion (smoking, eating, tinctures, etc).

Cody said he decided to open Herban Legends after seeing marijuana’s medicinal benefits in action compared to prescription drugs with their side effects and addictive properties.

“I’ve known a lot of people, specifically friend’s fathers (one with cancer and another with a rare brain condition who both use marijuana to manage pain). Without it, they would be on a raft of prescriptions, basically morphine,” he said. “Having known them I think it’s (medical marijuana) a good thing.”

Herban Legends opened just down the road from the GAME Collective Lounge, a Washington first medical marijuana bar. Community concerns about marijuana business in White Center were recently raised at a North Highline Unincorporated Council meeting you can read about here.

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