Fall River's first medical marijuana dispensary set to open Saturday

FALL RIVER — Millions of dollars later, Chris Harkins will learn on Saturday if marijuana will work for him.

Harkin’s creation, Northeast Alternatives, will open Saturday as the city’s first medical marijuana dispensary.

Individuals with medical marijuana cards will be able to register, speak to a bud tender and walk away with marijuana flowers, oils or edibles with characteristics that meet their needs.

“We got our approval on Friday, so we are ready to go,” Harkins said. “We are really excited about this.”

Northeast Alternatives moved into the former Heritage Liquors at 999 William S. Canning Blvd. The company took over the entire building, rebuilding the liquor store into a marijuana dispensary. The rest of the building is devoted to growing and processing marijuana.

The company purchased the site in December for $1.4 million. More money was invested in the building, constructing a facility to grow and process pharmaceutical grade marijuana, Harkins said.

The store will initially offer six or seven strains of marijuana plus oils that can be smoked in a vape pen and edibles, according to Matt Tremblay, the retail manager.

“If people know what they want, they can be in and out of here in seven minutes,” Harkins said. “If they want to consult with a bud tender, they can take as much time as they need.”

The bud tenders behind the counter and are trained to help customers find what they need, according to Matt Tremblay, the retail manager.

“They will walk the patient through the process,” Tremblay said. “They will ask what they want to alleviate, what they have for symptoms. Then they will make recommendations.”

There are three principal strains of marijuana, each with differing effects, and a growing number of hybrids. Some will help people sleep, some relieve pain, some can prevent seizures and

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