A ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the opening of Amherst’s first medical marijuana dispensary Wednesday.
The medical marijuana dispensary “RISE” received funding from several sources, including the Bean Restaurant Group, which owns several popular restaurants in the Pioneer Valley.
RISE Amherst invited the community to tour their newly renovated, $1.5-million facility at 169 Meadow Street.
Pete Kadens, CEO of Green Thumb Industries, told 22News, “It feels like a place you can call home. That’s what’s different about RISE and I think that patients will enjoy this place.”
During their tour, community members met employees and got to know Green Thumb Industries, the company that owns RISE.
“That connection, that people-to-people connection is what differentiates us,” Kadens told 22News. “It’s what’s made us successful around the country, and we train our people on a certain degree of dignity and respect that we ask them to treat their patients with.”
Patients come at least two times a month.
GTI was established in 2014. The cultivator, processor and dispensary operator, is based in Chicago, Illinois, but their growing facility is located in Holyoke.
Under the host agreement, the town of Amherst will receive 3-percent of all of RISE’s annual sales. RISE employs nearly 20 people from this area.
RISE will offer everything from flowers, to topical treatments to edibles. GTI has 52 licenses in 6 states – Nevada, Florida, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Illinois and now Massachusetts.
22News found out GTI currently has two medical marijuana licenses in Massachusetts, and they plan to open additional dispensaries in the future.