“All of us come from small-town backgrounds. Maple Valley was the perfect location for us,” says owner, Chris Schoonover, with business partner, Jon Hofer, by his side. “We’re just friendly,” they say.
But it hasn’t been an easy road for these two. The city of Maple Valley is arguing that Green Society Group is violating the city’s moratorium on medical marijuana.
“We promised our patients that we would open on April 20, but the city claimed we didn’t follow the correct protocol, when applying for a permit, in a timely fashion, so we had some problems. But we still did our grand opening with no medicine on the shelves and hosted an open house, so anyone could come in and see how non-threatening our place of business is. We invited police, city officials, friends, family and anyone else who was even curious,” Chris proudly says.
It seems like nothing is a secret at GSG. “We didn’t try and twist the law to our advantage. We just want what’s right for the patient,”they say. GSG plans on hosting an open house, without medicine, about once a quarter in hopes to educate the public, as well as city officials, to prove the fact that they are just like any other business.
These two owners are trying to make a difference in this industry. When they first opened, without medicine on the shelves, they were referring patients to the collective down the street. At GSG, we will share knowledge with anyone who needs it, even if it’s the competition down the street. We always make sure the outcome is best for the patient or the industry. We aren’t selfish, says Chris. That’s why they have their Informative Table right when you walk in, where patients can leave educational items for other patients on the table. They also use it to sit down and greet new patients, go over all of their materials and learn more about their ailments. The owners make sure each patient receives the proper recommendations. “Making sure we know the patient before we give them medicine is something that will happen each and every time at GSG,” says Chris. “Our standards, ethics and morals are different [from other collectives],” says Jon. These two are fighting for the industry and just by talking to them, you will realize that they will stand up for any and all collectives, even the ones in direct competition with them.
GSG is more than just an access point, it specializes in networking and business solutions. With offices connected to their access point, GSG welcomes patients to bring in any questions about the industry without ever entering the collective. ìIt’s our duty to protect the patients and we are frustrated by the greed in our industry. We need to unite and change. We want to be the people you can call to unite the industry, they say with sincerity. And after talking with these two for five minutes, you’ll believe in them too.