By Tracey Leong

JOPPA, Md. (WJZ) — The first medical marijuana dispensary in Harford County is now up and running.

Rise Joppa opened Friday morning and welcomed patients throughout the day.

It’s the third Rise dispensary to open in Maryland, and the 10th one in the country.

Rise Joppa’s waiting room was packed with patients for their grand opening.

“The patients of Harford County no longer need to drive all of the state,” said Andy Grossman, GTI Maryland president. “We are now in their backyard and open for business.”

Operated by Green Thumb Industries, a national cannabis cultivator and dispensary, the company hopes to offer patients who are suffering an alternative treatment.

“We see people come in our stores all the time that are off opioids 10, 20 years, so it’s a huge benefit for people who are struggling opioids throughout the country and Harford County has been hard hit.

Rise also has dispensaries in Silver Spring and Bethesda, and opening the location in Joppa helps the patients who live in the area.

“Get the things I need for my nerve problem, and it’s never been accessible before, so having it close is very convenient,” said patient Crystal Spicer.

Spicer used medical marijuana to treat her chronic pain caused by nerve damage.

“Using this helps me have less of those chemicals in my system, so maybe less liver damage and things like that to worry about, and it’s more natural,” she added.

Rise offiers various medical cannabis products for patients depending on their condition or preference.

“You don’t necessarily need to get high consuming the medication,” Grossman added. “We are able to strip out the psychoactive ingredient, THC, and only have CBS in the product so you can have medical benefits without feel high at all.”

There are currently 46 approved dispensaries in Maryland.

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