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Customers flock to cannabis store in Atwater on opening day


Residents from across Merced County were provided their first look into how the local cannabis industry is taking shape last Saturday as the new store Medallion Wellness in Atwater opened its doors to a steady stream of eager customers.

Owner Michael O’Leary — who was born in Merced and grew up in Modesto — says he knew expanding to Atwater after opening a dispensary in Modesto was a good decision.

“We know that we have customers who live in Fresno, but are driving to Ceres and Modesto to come to us, and our delivery service is delivering as far as Mariposa, so it just made sense,” O’Leary explained. “But being from this area, I also do just know that it is an under-serviced area.”

The new store at 341 Business Park Way offers over 130 strains of cannabis flower alongside of edibles, topicals, pre-rolls, concentrates and extracts. Products are sold by knowledgeable staff and experts referred to as “budtenders.”

“You have a Wal-Mart of cannabis out there selling product for super cheap, but it comes with a Wal-Mart experience,” O’Leary quipped. “So we’ve had people come up to use asking if we’re trying to be a Wal-Mart or a Target of cannabis, and I always ask them ‘Why can’t we be both?’ … It doesn’t have to be the cheapest price, but why can’t you bring a quality price with customer service and educated staff.”

O’Leary also expressed satisfaction that his store is already making a difference for people who are suffering from pain. He talked about one local customer who is suffering with complications from hip replacement surgery, but has found relief with a topical product called Peace of Mind.

“She had told us that she was having to drive to, or send someone to pick up the product, at our other location [in Modesto] if she wasn’t able to,” O’Leary said.

Now the customer is able to get assistance at the closer Atwater location and forego the difficult drive.

“It feels great,” O’Leary said. “We’re really excited to be here, and want to invite more people into Medallion Wellness.”

Medallion Wellness is currently open from 10 a.m to 7 p.m., with plans to expand to 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Customers are required to verify their age with a driver’s license or state identification card. There are other requirements for those under age 21 who have medical documents verifying the need for medicinal use of cannabis. For

more information about Medallion Wellness, go online to: or contact the Atwater location directly by calling (209) 248-7472.

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