<script async src=”//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js”></script>
<!– Front page sidebar –>
<ins class=”adsbygoogle”
style=”display:inline-block;width:300px;height:600px”
data-ad-client=”ca-pub-6727059054102892″
data-ad-slot=”4003498234″></ins>
<script>
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
</script>



Birdland Adds Med Pot

Birdland Adds Med Pot

“We sell medical cannabis, a Schedule 1 drug, to people with a medical marijuana card, and we take our business as seriously as the Walgreen’s down the street."

Med Pot Comes to Hipster-ville

BY DAN VUKELICH

Nob Hill now has its own marijuana dispensary.

Birdland the Hippie Store (3213 Central Ave. NE) has leased part of its space to Ultra Health, a medical marijuana grower.

Birdland the Hippie Store, 3213 Central Ave. NE, shares space with a medical marijuana dispensary. (Credit: Dan Vukelich)

Birdland the Hippie Store, 3213 Central Ave. NE, shares space with a medical marijuana dispensary. (Credit: Dan Vukelich)

The co-located operations will sell tie-dyed shirts, pipes and items from the 1960s up front. Behind Birdland’s display counter is a brightly painted 1960’s VW van.

Farther into the store, behind a locked door controlled by a buzzer, is a modern showroom with glass showcases to display large glass jars full of marijuana products.

At the time of our interview, Leonard Salgado, director of New Mexico operations for Ultra Health, awaited a final fire marshal inspection, the last step before New Mexico Department of Health approval, to begin sales to medical marijuana cardholders.

“We sell medical cannabis, a Schedule 1 drug, to people with a medical marijuana card, and we take our business as seriously as the Walgreen’s down the street,” Salgado said.

Salgado already oversees four Ultra Health locations in Hobbs, Bernalillo, Santa Fe, and another Albuquerque store at 7401 Menaul Blvd. N.E.

Ultra Health, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., grows marijuana for its New Mexico dispensaries in a 23,000-square-foot greenhouse in Bernalillo, Salgado said. Under state rules, the company can cultivate no more than 450 plants at a time.

There are about 21,000 medical marijuana cardholders statewide, about half of them in Bernalillo County, Salgado said.

The average age of Ultra Health’s customers is 50 – people who have tried unsuccessfully to treat pain with traditional drugs. About half suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, Salgado said.

Jay Steinberg, owner of Birdland, said the pairing of the two businesses in an iconic section of Albuquerque was a natural. “The neighbors have been so positive and the response from some is that they think it will increase their dining business,” Steinberg said.

The sales floor of the dispensary is accessible only to a medical marijuana cardholder and a caregiver. While it’s warmly lit, the space is loaded with surveillance cameras and motion sensors. After hours, the inventory of 14 strains of marijuana and edibles are locked in an 800-pound safe bolted to the floor.

Ultra Health is operated by Salgado and Duke Rodriquez, former CEO of Lovelace Health Systems who served as secretary of health under former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. Salgado was an administrator under Rodriquez at Lovelace.

Dan Vukelich is editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at editor@freeabq.com.

The following two tabs change content below.
Dan Vukelich is a writer and former editor of ABQ Free Press.

Latest posts by Dan Vukelich (see all)

5 comments

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

5 Comments

The following two tabs change content below.
Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.