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Maestro of the Munchies

The Mint's flagship dispensary has a kitchen of cannabis-infused delights, 5-star budtenders and a drive-thru window for customers on the go.



Mint Cannabis, Tempe, AZ

FOUNDED: 2016; DESIGNER: Eivan Shahara; EMPLOYEES: 262; AREA: 12,000 sq. feet; TOP IN-HOUSE BRANDS: Angry Errl, SofaKing, The Vault, WTF; TOP VENDOR BRANDS: Grown4, Jeeter, Select, STIIIZY, WYLD; ONLINE PRESENCE: 4,000+ 5-star Google reviews, 6,200+ Instagram followers

Co-Founders Raul Molina & Eivan Shahara in the Mint Cafe

Co-Founders Raul Molina & Eivan Shahara in the Mint Cafe

A CANNABIS DISPENSARY WITH a full-service kitchen and a high-tech grow facility snuggled inside? Genius, some might call it … but for now, let’s just stick with Mint Cannabis.

The name is apt—there’s something really cool and refreshing about the Mint, an oasis of yummy eats in Arizona’s desert heat. More on those in a second. The flagship store at 5210 S. Priest Dr. in Tempe, AZ is the sprawling linchpin of a growing network of Mint dispensaries in two states and counting.

CEO Eivan Shahara and COO Raul Molina are the two out-of-the-box thinkers who founded Brightroot, the parent company of Mint Cannabis, in 2016. The following spring, they opened their first store in Tempe, just outside of Phoenix.

Today, in addition to three stores in Arizona, the Mint has four in Michigan. More dispensaries are planned for Arizona, Illinois, Massachusetts and Missouri.


Mint Cannabis is a vertically integrated, multi-state operation. The company has its own cultivation, extraction and manufacturing facilities that supply in-house brands like WTF blunts and SofaKing brownies to its nationwide network of state-of-the-art retail locations.

Collectively, the many elements that form Mint Cannabis are valued at more than $500 million, according to Shahara and Molina. The founders say they expect to take in $75 million in revenue across all operations in 2022.

NOM NOM: The Mint Café’s menu of THC-infused delights includes a popular pasta salad and that old fave, brownies.

NOM NOM: The Mint Café’s menu of THC-infused delights includes a popular pasta salad and that old fave, brownies.

Munchables Made to Order

The flagship store is the “skunkworks”—literally and figuratively—where new ideas are tested out. Big and spacious, it extends across 12,000 square feet of space, making it the largest dispensary in Arizona and the third-largest in the United States, according to the co-founders.

Arizona voters passed Proposition 207 in November 2020, legalizing recreational cannabis. Mint Cannabis was able to bag two of just 31 operating licenses in the state’s first license lottery and was issued two more in 2022.

The dispensary now sells adult-use products, including some of the top vendor brands on the market, as well as its own in-house brands. Mint house specialties include its WTF line of blunts, badders and cartridges; SofaKing edibles, including brownies, cookies, fruity bars, marshmallow treats and gummies; Angry Errl, a novel collection of gummies and infused hot sauces; and The Vault, the company’s high-end flower product.

But it’s the kitchen and its top-tier chefs that really set the Mint apart.

Made- and dosed-to-order THC-infused foods have been available at the nation’s first full-service, dispensary-housed cannabis kitchen, dubbed the Mint Café, since October 2018.

Just before Mint Cannabis celebrated its first birthday, the company invested $2 million in the expansion of its flagship dispensary on South Priest Drive. After receiving the go-ahead from the State of Arizona, the Mint added and opened the Mint Café inside its Tempe store.

ENTRY LEVEL: Mint customers are greeted in a secure, state-of-the-art lobby with a peak into The Vault.

ENTRY LEVEL: Mint customers are greeted in a secure, state-of-the-art lobby with a peak into The Vault.

When designing the renovated store layout, Mint Cannabis co-founder and CEO Shahara considered the fact that the key to many people’s hearts is through their stomachs. (Especially if they’ve already stirred up a case of the munchies by indulging in some THC-laden weed pre-visit!)

These days, a scrumptious feast of pizzas, burgers, wings, breakfast burritos, pastries and more goodies awaits anyone who enters or drives up to the dispensary, where a team of classically trained chefs openly prepare culinary cannabis-infused delights.

The taste bud-targeted approach is a hit—the Mint Café averages a stellar 4.8 out of 5 stars from nearly 4,500 Google reviews. The awards are stacking up, too.

The Mint was named “Most Innovative Medical Cannabis Dispensary” by the international Commercial Cannabis Awards in 2020. That’s in addition to nods from Phoenix Magazine’s “Best of the Valley” awards and more accolades from the Phoenix New Times, Leafly and

Healing Song 1 ……. Jimmy Knight, Jr.
Wowie Zowie …………….. The Mothers of Invention
Arizona ………………… Mark Lindsay
Bobby in Phoenix ……….. Gorillaz w. Bobby Womack
Sedona …………………. Houndmouth
Alma de Acero …………… Louie Martinez
Big Iron ……………….. Marty Robbins
No Control ……………… Blackfire
Sissyneck ………………. Beck
By the Time I
Get to Phoenix ………….. Isaac Hayes
Backwater ………………. Meat Puppets
Grand Canyon ……………. The Wind and The Wave
Little One ……………… Sharon Burch
Willin’ ………………… Little Feat
By the Time I
Get to Arizona ………….. Public Enemy
Back in the Day …………. Dred Scott
Arizona ………………… Scorpions
Social Song …………….. Philip & Patsy Cassadore

LISTEN TO THE SOUNDTRACK! Check out GCTMag’s Spotify playlist for Arizona at and give The Mint’s playlist a listen at


Growing the Brand

Following the success of the Mint Café, expansion efforts continued. The kitchen was followed by “The Vault”—a high-tech cannabis cultivation facility showcased within the confines of the flagship property in Tempe.

Since bringing The Vault online in 2018, the company has indulged customers with 30 exclusive boutique-grade strains that were not previously available in Arizona. In addition to flower, the vast array of house-grown strains are used to produce the Mint’s branded products.

To further demystify cannabis for customers, Shahara and Molina wanted a peek-a-boo window into The Vault. No other cannabis retail location in the state allows customers to look in on cultivation happening right inside a dispensary facility, they say.

“From day one, The Mint has been at the forefront of spearheading transformational change in Arizona’s cannabis industry. At the root of that change is education that breaks down barriers and removes stigmas around cannabis,” Molina says.

With more than 10,000 cannabis-based products making up the inventory, there’s something for everyone at The Mint. named Mint Cannabis “Best Dispensary for Product Selection in the U.S.” in 2018, and “Best Dispensary for Product Deals in the U.S.” in 2019.

The Mint bets on its ability to deliver satisfaction—customers get a 100 percent money-back guarantee on any product purchased from Mint dispensaries.

DRIVE TIME: The Mint’s drive-thru window makes picking up an infused wrap or salad easy and convenient.

DRIVE TIME: The Mint’s drive-thru window makes picking up an infused wrap or salad easy and convenient.

Service at Every Stop

The Mint has built a solid reputation in the community through great service and giving back (see sidebar). A team of knowledgeable budtenders serves as an integral cog in the Mint’s customer- and patient-centric philosophy.

A few years ago, Eivan and Raul looked at the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and decided to up their service game even further. To accommodate lockdown and social distancing requirements, the Mint introduced its drive-thru window and online ordering options.

The dispensary also ran a limited-time promotion offering free pre-rolls to people aged 21+ who had been vaccinated for the virus.

Spreading knowledge about the health benefits of cannabis is another foundational concern at Mint Cannabis. Mint visitors can participate in educational sessions with the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona and local breast cancer awareness and support group Check for a Lump. The Mint recently hosted a group of cancer doctors through its flagship dispensary.

“Since opening our first retail location in Arizona, we have been working hard to improve awareness and understanding of cannabis, as we strive to be the gold standard for the industry, for what dispensaries and cultivation facilities can and should be,” Shahara says.

“We want to better benefit patients and customers as they seek out options to help them battle a variety of illnesses, from cancer and epilepsy to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. We’re using our market leader position to invest in resources that will improve quality, efficacy and access.”

The Mint’s flagship store is open 365 days a year, 8am until midnight. Other Arizona locations include Mesa and Phoenix; Michigan stores are located in Coldwater, Kalamazoo, Monroe and Portage. The Mint anticipates opening two additional stores in Phoenix this year and one in St. Peter’s, MO.

Five Cool Things About Mint Cannabis

1. BRINGING THE YUM. Not only does the Mint Café serve pizzas, burgers, salads, wraps and pasta dishes, but local medical cannabis card holders can receive freshly prepared, infused foods directly to their door. What’s more, the skilled pastry chefs can create custom cakes for any occasion.

2. TEACHING MOMENTS. Education is emphasized in everything that happens at The Mint. In addition to teaching customers about cannabis, the company acts as a regular expert resource to local law enforcement agencies, oncologists, researchers and the food service industry.

3. DOOR-TO-DOOR SERVICE. The Mint offers a free shuttle service to shoppers and diners traveling from Sky Harbor Airport and the metropolitan Phoenix resorts.


4. HERE’S TOMMY. Tommy Chong has been known to swing by the dispensary for a browse when he’s in town. During his occasional visits, the Canadian-American comedy legend and cannabis activist converses with customers while stocking up on The Mint’s locally grown buds.

5. UNTIL THERE’S A CURE. The Mint is actively involved in medical research initiatives, one of which has seen the company team up with a nationally recognized cancer researcher in Scottsdale, AZ. As part of the collaboration, researchers are studying the efficacy and safety of using medicinal-grade cannabis to treat late-stage cancer patients.

Try This: Giving Back

Mint Cannabis has been a generous community citizen for years, providing discounted and free product programs for senior citizens, cancer patients and veterans. Since 2016, the company has donated more than $3 million to numerous charitable initiatives, including: The TGen Foundation, Check for a Lump, Cancer Support Community Arizona, Colleen’s Dream Foundation, the Arizona Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 22 Cares, the Desert Southwest Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, the Epilepsy Foundation of Arizona, the Parkinson’s Alliance, Cloud Covered Streets, Wings for Warriors, Ride it Out and the Phoenix Animal Coalition (PACC911).




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