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Abide medical cannabis dispensary now open in Napa

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Even after the 1996 marijuana legalization in California, cannabis and its dispensaries can create controversy. To Napa resident Micah Malan, cannabis created a lifeline.

“Returning from a snowboarding trip my first semester of college, I fell asleep, then the driver fell asleep,” said Malan. “I woke up from a coma two months later and was told I’d never walk again.”

At the time, understanding how to function and manage pain as a quadriplegic seemed impossible. To Malan, taking take opiates for the rest of his life was inconceivable.

“In 2000, I started taking cannabis to deal with the pain,” he said. “Although there wasn’t a lot of information available then.”

When he figured out what cannabis types eased his physical suffering, Malan decided to educate those with similar injuries.

“I started the Napa Spinal Cord Injury Network. We have about 20 members, many of whom are new people trying to figure out solutions to their medical issues. We help people find the right doctors, the best equipment for them, and what medications are available.”

Malan intended to offer more help.

He and three partners, Amos Flint, Jerred Kiloh and Ty Heldt, saw the need for an additional medicinal cannabis dispensary in Napa that could serve as a resource. They opened Abide Medical Dispensary.

Referred to as “The premier upscale dispensary,” Abide recently opened at 1963 Iroquois St.

“Everyone at Abide has extensive training and knowledge about the cannabis industry,” said Malan. “One of our partners, Jerred Kiloh, has been in the business for over 15 years, including seven years running a successful cannabis dispensary in Los Angeles. He has instructed our staff so they’re extremely knowledgeable.”

All 15 of Abide’s employees are considered consultants, which includes three managers and 12 “budtenders.” Before opening the dispensary, each of their cannabis brands provided training classes. The products offered in the store are sun-grown from different appellations in California.

“Our mission is simple: to provide our patients with the highest quality cannabis products, at a fair price, from a compassionate, professional, knowledgeable staff,” writes Malan in an email. “With our understanding of cannabis’s medical properties, terroir variations and terpenes in our strains, we are your Napa cannabis sommeliers.”

Using the same terminology as the wine industry is deliberate, said Malan. “We hope to start a Certified Cannabis Sommelier program in the future. From analytics and market demography, we know cannabis will complement the wine industry. We picture visitors going to a spa or dinner and stopping by to buy one of our products to enjoy later. Besides experiencing wine and fine food, they will use it before or after to make their trip better.”

He stresses that they’re not only targeting tourists. “We’re from Napa and bringing the Napa brand to life in our business. It’s for them, from them.”

Malan also belongs to the Napa Valley Cannabis Association, lobbying to legalize commercial cultivation in the county.

“We’re not competition to the wine and grape growing industries,” he said. “In fact, we have winemakers and winery owners working on our board to find the best solutions.”

He hopes potential customers will get information from the Abide website. The site explains terms such as cannabinoids; the strains of indica, sativa and hybrid; terpenes, and micro-dosing. There are over 50 items for sale from extracts and topicals, to edibles and tinctures. People can apply on the website or at the dispensary for their Medical Marijuana Identification Card.

Although the website has extensive technical information, people shouldn’t feel intimidated.

“We hope people will ask questions. When they come in, we want them to be blown away by our artisanal focus and Napa brand. Abide offers a clean environment, knowledgeable staff, and quality products. If potential customers don’t have their Medical Marijuana ID card, there are iPads in our lobby to apply for one. Unlike other cannabis dispensaries, we don’t have a plain desk in the lobby but have a setup like a hostess station in a fine restaurant.

“There’s no need for an appointment, customers can just ask for a budtender to talk about their needs.”

Abide holds business licenses in Santa Rosa and Petaluma if someday they decide to expand into Sonoma County. For now, though, he’s content with Abide in Napa, which he calls “The perfect location to pair your wine, culinary and cannabis experience.”

Abide’s website is Open daily 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; 707-266-1967, 1963 Iroquois St. Napa CA, 94558. “No contact” product pick-up is available.

Photos: Go inside Abide, a Napa cannabis dispensary.

Watch now: go inside new Napa cannabis dispensary, Abide

Abide, a new Napa cannabis dispensary, is now open near the city's downtown. Take a look inside.

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