Budding business: Fall River's first medical marijuana dispensary opens

FALL RIVER — Medical marijuana is available in the city now.

Five dozen people took advantage of that on Saturday, turning out to Northeast Alternatives on its first day in business to get help and hemp.

“Our first day went really well,” said Chris Harkins, the CEO of Northeast Alternatives, 999 William S. Canning Blvd. “We had 60 people come through.

“The patients we met have been really excited about being able to walk in to get medicine locally.”

Northeast Alternatives is one of three companies in the city with grow facilities and dispensaries and a license from the state to sell marijuana and cannabis products to individuals with medical marijuana cards.

CannaTech Medicinals is building a growing and processing facility in the biopark and a dispensary off of Hartwell Street. Hope, Heal, Health is completing a 50,000-square-foot growing, processing and dispensing facility in the former Border City Mill at 1 West St.

Both of those companies are in the final stages of construction. They are not yet open and have not received final state approval.

Northeast Alternatives has a license to sell marijuana to people who have been given state medical marijuana card following a recommendation from a physician.

On Sunday, a uniformed security guard was in the parking lot of the business. He checked the card and admitted clients to an outer foyer, where the card was checked against a state database. New customers also registered with Northeast Alternatives after providing state-approved identification.

All of that are included in the requirements set out by the state for medical marijuana dispensaries, Harkins said.

Once verified, clients were allowed into the showroom, where they spoke with one of a half-dozen bud tenders on duty during the weekend — sales people who are trained to help provide the product that will be most

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