The state’s first medical marijuana dispensary has opened its doors in South Windsor.
Prime Wellness of Connecticut, the first of six dispensaries in Connecticut, held its grand opening Wednesday evening at its new facility on John Fitch Boulevard in South Windsor.
Jodie DeFord was one of dozens of people in line for treatment information Wednesday night.
"You don't want to be on painkillers all day. You want to function and be part of society," said DeForde, who has multiple sclerosis and hopes medical marijuana can ease the pain. "It's very challenging. Just by watching me walk, you can see how challenging it is."
Many people diagnonsed with serious health conditions are searching for relief. Pharmacists at the South Windsor dispensary said roughly 150 patients have signed up for consultation with doctor approval.
“This is just like a pharmacy, we are dispensing medicine for people,” said dispensary manager Al Domeika.
Critics are concerned the cannabis from the facility will end up in the wrong hands, but state regulators say it's not an issue.
The facility can only dispense Connecticut-produced marijuana products to seriously ill patients who have registered with the state’s Medical Marijuana Program.
“We have very detailed and strict rules and regulations,” said Bill Rubenstein, the Commissioner of Consumer Protection.
Facility owners say security is tight. The doors remain locked and visitors must be buzzed in to access the building. Medical marijuana is stored in a secure room with limited access.
Four marijuana producers received licenses in January. In April, state officials released information on the first six dispensary facilities, including Prime Wellness.
These six facilities will be able to legally dispense Connecticut-produced marijuana products to seriously ill patients who have registered with the state’s Medical Marijuana Program.
- Arrow Alternative Care, Inc., at 92 Weston Street in Hartford
- Bluepoint Apothecary, LLC, at 469 East Main Street in Branford
- D & B Wellness, LLC, at 2181 Main Street in Bethel
- Prime Wellness of Connecticut, LLC, at 75 John Fitch Boulevard in South Windsor,
- Thames Valley Apothecary, LLC, at 1100 Norwich-New London Turnpike (Route 32), in Uncasville
- The Healing Corner, Inc., at 159 East Main Street in Bristol
Arrow Alternative Care will open soon, according to its Web site and Facebook page.