South Whidbey’s Island Herb is celebrating their fifth anniversary this April, and if you’re hip to cannabis culture you can probably guess the store’s birthday: April 20, also known as 4/20, the unofficial holiday for marijuana.
And while Island Herb isn’t shying away from the traditional side of the occasion, their fifth anniversary is more meaningful than green-leaf souvenirs and a big puff of smoke. It’s a time to reflect with gratitude and appreciation.
“We owe everything to our customers and our community. We couldn’t have done it without them,” says Sandra Winn, manager and senior staff at Island Herb.
Island Herb started as a medical marijuana dispensary, and when Washington legalized recreational use they expanded their service without lowering their standards.
“All of our budtenders are Certified Medical Marijuana Consultants, or in the process of becoming certified. It’s a 20-hour course, and every year we renew our certification with a 10-hour course. We’re all CPR certified too. It’s important that we can give safe, well-informed guidance to our customers,” Sandra says.
While the store welcomes customers all customers over 21 and at any experience-level, Sandra says it’s common for first-timers to come into the store with very little knowledge of cannabis and how it can be used medically. Island Herb’s budtenders are happy to help.
“Legalization has improved not just access, but also the amount of research into cannabis and its effects. It used to be illegal to even study THC and other cannabinoids. Now there’s much more information, and scientists are able to study other cannabinoids to understand how they work.”
It’s a common misconception to associate higher THC content with a stronger ‘high.’ Budtenders at Island Herb educate customers that every part of the cannabis plant — including an array of terpenes and cannabinoids — has the potential to aid in alleviating pain and nausea, improving sleep, and much more.
Health conscious and locally focused, just like their customers
From the beginning, Island Herb has focused on quality products — clean plants grown with low to no pesticides from sustainable farms. Over their five years in business they’ve definitely noticed more high caliber products available, thanks in part to legalization and consumer demand.
“South Whidbey is a health-focused community that really supports small businesses, and those things are important to us too,” Sandra says.
Island Herb stocks a variety of Washington-grown products, including the hyper-local Rock Garden, produced and processed right here on Whidbey Island.
Visit the store at 5565 Van Barr Pl. in Freeland, open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., as of April 1. Keep an eye on the Island Herb Facebook page for the latest news on their fifth anniversary celebrations, which will definitely include some customer appreciation!