Photo by Patrick Robinson
Surecan Access, a medical cannabis facility, will open in the Arrowhead Gardens retail row (frosted windows marked Suite 200) on March 14. Arrowhead (senior living apartments) is located in the Highland Park neighborhood of West Seattle.

Medical cannabis facility opening at Arrowhead Gardens

The most recent addition to medical marijuana access facilities for patients in West Seattle and White Center will open on Wednesday, March 14 in a retail space at Arrowhead Gardens Apartments for senior living (9220 2nd Ave S.W.).

The name is Sure Can Access Point, according to the company voicemail, and the Herald is still awaiting a call back from the owner for additional details on the business model and safety features.

The business has been confirmed by construction workers on site and John Davis, owner of the Northwest Patient Resource Center (NWPRC) in West Seattle, chairman of Seattle’s Hempfest, and chair of the recently formed Cannabis Standard and Ethics Committee where “we created best practices and a compliance arm so we can check ourselves and assure that we will abide by them.”

Department of Planning and Development documents show a segmented floor plan with a separate lobby, waiting area, transaction room and lounge. It is unclear at this time whether the lounge will be used by patients for smoking purposes. The windows are frosted, a common practice for patient confidentiality and a low profile.

Arrowhead Gardens, located in Highland Park, is part of the Senior Housing Assistance Group (SHAG) and provides affordable housing to seniors. Keven Ruf, SHAG director of asset management, declined to comment on the project.

A group of Arrowhead tenants (who asked not to be identified) reached out to the Herald via email when construction on Sure Can began in December, 2011. They expressed concern over the project because “many veterans have been placed in this complex because some vets have drug issues and cannot be placed near drug activities/places.” They also wondered whether a medical marijuana facility would bring crime to their community.

While there have been a handful of medical marijuana facility robberies in King County over the last year, local law enforcement including White Center Storefront Deputy BJ Myers have said crime such as patients smoking marijuana in the near vicinity of dispensaries, or reselling their medicine to non-patients (at least nearby) has not been a problem. The GAME Collective on California Ave S.W. and Cannabis Oasis on 1st Ave S. were both robbed in 2011, but also had less security at the time than NWPRC (built like a bank) and Herban Legends (segmented into closed off sections like Surecan seems to be).

Ever Duarte, owner of the El Quetzal grocery store next door to Surecan’s future home, said he does not carry cigarettes or alcohol in his store in accordance with his religion and has mixed feelings on a medical cannabis facility moving in. On one hand, he said “We are a Christian business” and marijuana use makes him personally uncomfortable, but on the other hand, he said, “the people who are sick: they may need it.”

Arrowhead staff respectfully asked that the Herald not to interview their tenants, but there is the flipside argument that local access to medicinal cannabis for patients living in the apartments will be a positive.

"I've got a secret for you,” John Davis said. “Most people with chronic illnesses are not 18 to 24 year old males. The emerging market is going to be your older people because they have more issues. If you look at pharmaceutical use, there's a lot of it in that age demographic. Cannabis is a much healthier approach for people later in life. Should you be taking Oxycontin and valium when a safe therapeutically active herbal medication that has never killed anyone exists?”

We will follow up with more details on Sure Can once we hear back from the owner.

Updated from original post to correct the name from Surecan Access to Sure Can Access Point.

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