Heather Moroso is a lot more than just a medical marijuana doctor. She's a Naturopath that truly cares about her client's health and overall well being. In fact, she's an overall amazing person, and we are all pretty lucky to know her.
Describe your business
We definitely are a Medical Marijuana facility, that's undeniable, but what I like to say that separates us from other Medical Marijuana Certification centers is that we are more of a holistic clinic.. You can come for acupuncture, naturopathic consultation, massage, and nutritional advice.... we also offer customized products including massage oils, so it's above and beyond just getting your medical marijuana card, it's more of a total wellness clinic.
What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you?
What motivates me is that you see people get better. And I think that is the single, most remarkable experience. I've seen people who were stage 4 cancer, who were told that there was no hope, they get their card, and they go through these high dose oral cannabis treatments, and the next thing you know their PET scans are clear. I can't really explain how that happened or why, but that family is a whole lot happier and they are enjoying Christmas. Another thing that I think is really cool is seeing the kids, especially the non verbal kids, who suffer from all sorts of things from severe autism to different genetics conditions in which they can't speak, or they have multiple seizures a day, and you can see the pain in their eyes. Then you go through these treatments where you give them oils that might taste like bubble gum, and all of a sudden they are no longer having 20-30 seizures a day, and they start to smile. And even though you can't communicate with them, you can still joke and play with them and see that their entire life has changed. Another type of patient that I see that I've seen huge changes in, is the opiate user. There's people that come in here that have been addicted to opiates for 20 years, and are now being cut off of their prescriptions by their doctors and don't know what to do. A lot of them have been able to get off of the opiates with the help of Medical Marijuana, and are able to live a much better life because of it. Those are the things that motivate me.
What has surprised you most when owning a business?
The ups and downs of it all. In 2008 I lost everything. The Complimentary Therapies Program was canceled with The Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation and that had been 90% of my patient base. It was a hard and very humbling time. I ended up becoming a bartending doctor just to make ends meet. It gave me a lot of new life experiences. I had been completely focused on academics my entire life and I was pretty sheltered. I went directly from high school, to college, to med school, to practice, to having patients coming through the door, and I guess I needed to experience a few hard knocks. I know in the end, it's helped me to become a stronger person, both in business and in life.
What is something most people don't know about the business?
I think that a lot of people don't know that we go way beyond just medical marijuana. Like when people say, "What are you going to do when they legalize it." I'm like, "Well, I'm still a Doctor." You know, we have our own product lines, we do skin care products and lotions, we do a lot of our own pain salves and remedies. Right now we are really excited about all of the CBD oils we are doing. You know, you see them everywhere right now because they are really popular. The difference between our CBD oils and a lot of the competition is that we don't mark ours up like most of the others do, we use a really pure CBD strain from Colorado, and we dose correctly. And we not only have CBD salves and oral dosages, but we are also super stoked on our new CBD herbal infusions such as the sleepy herbs chamomile, lavender, valerian, etc., and then the daytime herbs like adaptogens, mushrooms, or astragalus. CBD's have also been shown to decrease diabetes, so we are going to do a diabetic formula and have some herbs that support blood sugar maintenance and things like that. So what I'm doing is combining the herbal stuff that I've known forever, and mixing it with CBD's to really create something natural that provides a lot of health benefits for people.
What would your customers say they love most about your business?
I think that we are honest. And we educate. What you see is what you get, we don't have any hidden prices. When patients come here they feel like it's a professional experience and they actually learn things. Especially with marijuana, there are patients that have had their card for 3 or 4 years that come in and actually learn about cannabis, and make comments about how no one has ever explained anything to them before. The original definition of the word doctor, actually means to be a teacher, to educate. I'm really big about blowing stigma out of the water, and if you're a just a doctor that sees patients for 2 mins just to write a script, you're not really doing your job. Every patient is different with a different story, like if you're a young guy coming in that blew out his knee skiing moguls in Telluride, you have a different need then someone with stage 4 cancer. I look at all patients differently and work to fit their specific need.
What are your greatest challenges?
Overcoming stereotypes and stigma for sure. Some people stereotype my practice, and some people even stereotype me. They look at me and at first see how laid back I am, and they don't take me seriously until they hear me speak. That one's pretty easy to get over, and I think it's fun. Some people come here as a last resort, either on their own accord or on their family's accord, and even though they are here, they aren't "here". To them it's "devil weed" and they walk in not expecting anything. With those people I just sit them down and talk to them. Let them talk about their feelings on marijuana and their expectations for treatment, and then I explain things to them and help them have more of an open mind.
What is something most people don't know about you?
Not everyone knows that I ride motorcycles, and that I'm a yogi. Also... my babysitter growing up was Ryan Lewis's mom from Macklemore. I also have a previous boss that was a WWE wrestler..
Note from interviewer: Heather is also an AMAZING animal advocate! She has multiple rescue animals and sponsors the Putt For Paws Golf Tournament every year... She even makes CBD treats for dogs, catnip CBD oil for cats, and makes adorable animal soaps that she sells and then donates the proceeds to HSSA! She doesn't like to talk about herself but she deserves some recognition for being such an amazing person and helping out so many people and organizations in our community!