Photo of Alternative ReLeaf’s mascot Squish. Photo by Danielle Nason, The Montanian.
By Danielle Nason
If you haven’t stopped in to see what it is already, Alternative ReLeaf, located at 31930 US Highway 2 in Libby, is a locally owned and operated medicinal cannabis dispensary where medical marijuana card holders are able to purchase cannabis based items.
The store is also open to non-card holders. There are products for pets, kids and all adults that are non-THC related, including a full line of inhouse manufactured pure CBD products. The store team, as far as growers, has 35+ years’ worth of cannabis experience according to the owners of the shop.
Owners are Jon Meister and Barbie Turner who moved to Libby in 2008 with their two boys and heads chalked full of dreams. Their dream was to move to Libby and open a marijuana grow facility to help others who suffered from medical ailments.
“We have lived that (medical) struggle too. We were parents of a sick child. So, when it comes to compassionate care, we don’t have a hard time putting ourselves in the shoes of others. We have had patients that we genuinely care about die. That is one of the hardest things of the job, you grow attached to people and you care about them.” Said Barbie Turner. “We try to focus on the medicinal side of it. We try to educate all of our clients so that they have the knowledge that they need, and they can make an informed decision in their own health.”
You must apply for and receive a State Certified Medical Marijuana Card to use marijuana. The use of any and all marijuana products is illegal in Montana.
In Montana cannabis is legal for medical uses but has been illegal for recreational use since 1929. Medical cannabis was legalized by ballot initiative in 2004. See https://dphhs.mt.gov/marijuana for more information on medical marijuana in Montana.
“We offer a wide variety of products for people and animals. There are edibles, drops, even options for micro dosing, where you are getting the smallest amount of THC possible, but you are still getting the help that you need from it.” Said Barbie Turner.
The staff at Alternative ReLeaf are happy to research medical problems and offer to help you understand what strains or combinations might be best for you.
They offer a lighthearted environment that even includes a friendly bulldog meandering about. The store is 100% family friendly and patients and visitors are welcome to bring their kids into the store with them as long as they are supervised.
There is a sitting area where people can come relax and even read some of the medicinal marijuana books or magazines available.
Owners say they will be getting an ATM in the store to make shopping more convenient for patients.
All the products made and sold in the store are tested by a state certified lab.
“We have never used pesticides and have never been dinged negatively on testing. Every single harvest has to be tested before we can process and sell it. Everything that is made in house such as an edible and oils, they have been tested 3 times before the consumer actually gets them.” Said Jon Meister.
Alternative ReLeaf will soon be expanding and is opening a second store that will be located in Troy. The new shop will be located at 44 Callahan Rd. in Troy. Open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m.
They are currently hiring for both the Libby and Troy store locations.
“The clients have to be comfortable with the new (hired) person, because they come to rely on them. It really has to be the right person for the job, they have to care, not just want a job.” Said Barbie Turner.
The Troy store is set to open on Monday, March 11th. According to the owners, store hours are going to be different hours than the main store due to the smaller size of the store and the town.
“The Troy store won’t necessarily bring a lot more revenue,” said Barbie Turner. “But the move to Troy is really more of a compassionate move. What we really want is to be more convenient for our patients, most of who are really sick. A lot of people that come to us from Troy have caretakers that have to bring them over. It is such an inconvenience for them, and we want to help where we can.”
Stop by one of the stores today and check out the items that they have for sale to the public. There are CBD products as well as a full line of edibles that cater to the biggest spectrum of patients ranging from young to elderly. There is something for young and old, even if just a few minutes petting the mascot “Squish.”