It’s official — another medical marijuana dispensary is now open in the Valley.
Green Leaf — or gLeaf — on Route 422 in Warren, is the Valley’s second medical marijuana dispensary.
The first location to open locally was in Columbiana County in East Liverpool — FRX Health.
Charles Epperley wanted to be the first one in the door Friday morning on Green Leaf’s first day. The 58-year-old from Cortland is a cancer survivor and has diabetes, but doesn’t want to take opioids.
“The way…they prescribe pain medicines nowadays, you get addicted and then they throw you out to the wolves on the street and then you get in trouble with the law,” he said.
Workers held a ribbon-cutting on Friday morning.
Inside, security is tight. There are cameras all around and a city patrolman is on duty.
The dispensary offers more than 50 strains of what is called cannabis flower, as well as the vaporizers to consume it.
“The demand is there and it’s very real,” said Green Leaf manager A.J. Caraballo.
Caraballo is also a licensed pharmacist. He said workers educate clients before they sell them anything.
“First thing we start explaining is you cannot smoke the flower in the state, and then it’s important patients understand the distinction between smoking and vaporizing.”
Everything that happens at the dispensary is uploaded to a database with the Ohio Pharmacy Board — from the clients who come and go to what they buy and the name of the physician who referred them.
There are currently about two dozen local doctors certified to prescribe cannabis and all of the clients need a special card.
“Your card covers you to carry that product in that bottle and it covers approved paraphernalia,” Caraballo said.
A day’s supply starts around $50. Vaporizers can cost several hundred more and insurance doesn’t cover any of it. Still, clients insist it works.
“It helps a lot with pain. Mostly helps with depression for me,” Robert Willard said.
He and others hope they’ll be able to find relief, now closer to home.
Eventually, 56 dispensaries will be allowed to open in the state of Ohio.
In Mahoning County, Quest Wellness Ohio is still waiting for the green light to open its facility in Youngstown.