Giving Tree Dispensary celebrates 10 years of breaking barriers in Phoenix | Phoenix New Times

Giving Tree Dispensary celebrates 10 years of breaking barriers in the Valley

Arizona's only female majority-owned cannabis company marks a milestone.
Lilach Mazor Power opened Giving Tree Dispensary in 2013 in north Phoenix.
Lilach Mazor Power opened Giving Tree Dispensary in 2013 in north Phoenix. Kevin Brost
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When Giving Tree Dispensary owner Lilach Mazor Power decided to apply for one of the state’s 126 medical marijuana dispensary licenses in 2011, it wasn’t like jumping into any other business.

“You had to have a business plan; you had to secure a location that the city approved,” she recalled. “You had to show proof of funds that you could start this business. If there was more than one application that had all their checkmarks then it would go into a lottery.”

There were 12 qualified applications in her area in north Phoenix; six of them were from the same person. Power remembers watching the lottery balls pop in the air. When the dust settled, her ball was picked.

“I just got lucky,” she said.

Power has parlayed that one fortunate draw into a 10-year success story based on moxie and motivation — and as the only female majority-owned cannabis company in Arizona. The dispensary first opened as part of a wellness center in 2013 and celebrated its 10th anniversary with events and specials in May.

Power said being born and raised in Israel helped show her how to succeed as a risk-taker and entrepreneur. She and her husband, Keith Power, leveraged everything to open the business.

“I own 90 percent of my business and that’s unheard of in Arizona,” she said. “This is an expensive business and you have to have private capital. It’s an issue because we can’t go to the banks and ask for loans, and usually banks have dedicated funds for women and minorities, and that doesn’t exist because banks don’t exist in our industry.”

Over time, Power closed the wellness center but kept the dispensary and added a grow house and production facility for a vertically integrated seed-to-sale experience that guarantees quality. Power owns the brands Kindred, Revelry and Sneakers.

She’s also the president of the Arizona Dispensaries Association, which represents 85 percent of the cannabis market in the state and helps the industry navigate constantly changing waters. It lobbies for the industry, creates marketing and advertising campaigns, keeps members updated on the law and holds meetings to discuss compliance, cultivation and more.

“We have to be united,” Power said. “We have to make sure we understand what’s coming our way and that we’re going the right way… We have to be resilient; we have to talk to each other.”
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Giving Tree Dispensary offers a seed-to-sale experience to guarantee quality.
Kevin Brost

‘There was a risk of going to jail’

Since opening a decade ago, Power has faced challenges as well as opportunities.

When Arizona voters approved medical marijuana in 2010, a stigma surrounded dispensaries that made it difficult to attract customers, employees and places to operate.

“There was a risk of going to jail,” Power said. “People still thought we were criminals. I did not see it progressing so quickly.”

Power’s first location was in a “creepy industrial area,” she said, and she saw it was intimidating to women coming alone, especially after dark.

Cities gradually relaxed zoning prohibitions for cannabis businesses, and in 2021, Power moved Giving Tree to 701 W. Union Hills Drive in a former Circle K. She kept all the windows from the convenience store to make people — women in particular — feel comfortable. “I wanted people to drive by and look in and not be afraid of opening that door,” Power recalled.

Another way Power used her perspective as a woman to succeed is by creating clean products like capsules for consumers who don’t want to consume so much sugar in gummies or don’t like vaping.

Also, Power developed Revelry specifically for menopausal women who are routinely ignored in many facets of medicine and society. The products help with ailments such as anxiety, irritability and difficulty sleeping. One of the most popular items is a CBD lube.

Those products are one of the ways in which Power leans into using being a female to her advantage.

“People sometimes didn’t take me as a threat and didn’t take me seriously,” she said. “You learn as a woman to have your actions speak for themselves.”
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Giving Tree kept all the windows from its former use as a Circle K to make customers more comfortable.
Kevin Brost

Evolving with the industry

Looking ahead, Power sees the industry growing in new ways. For instance, she envisions a future with online ordering and shipping.

With growth comes innovation, and Power sees the potential for focused product lines for specific needs, such as reducing anxiety before flying or giving a presentation. One way to do this, she explained, is combining medicinal supplements, such as ashwagandha root, with cannabis into one product.

“Being very comfortable with change helped me here because this industry changes all the time and you have to pivot quickly, and I’m good with that,” she stated.

Of course, challenges remain. The lack of access to banking and the frustration of ever-changing regulations persist. An oversupply in the cannabis market has caused prices to fall 35 percent over the past 18 months.

Growing marijuana is not easy, either.

“This plant is very finicky,” Power said. “If you haven’t been humbled by this plant you haven’t been doing this long enough. It’s farming, it’s agriculture, and you’re going to have issues.”

But Power, who said she is a “100 percent believer in the cannabis plant and what it can do,” is confident that the industry will continue to bloom thanks to less stigma and more interesting products.

“I’m always amazed at the many ways cannabis can improve people’s lives,” Power noted. "I’m always thinking about the next brand and the next product and how it can help people.”

Giving Tree Dispensary
701 W. Union Hills Drive
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