JOPLIN, Mo. — Missouri paved the way for medicinal marijuana use in 2020 legislation. Since then it’s been a long process of granting grow permits, business licenses, storefronts being built and now waiting on final inspections and commencement by the state of Missouri.
We recently talked with Casey Efting, Director of Retail Operations, Green Light Dispensary. Even though their name says they’re ‘green‘ they are experienced in opening and operating dispensaries. With nearly 20 locations and plans of opening three in our region; Springfield, Branson and Joplin.
The Joplin location has a sense of nostalgia, located on the NW corner of 7th and St. Louis, on historic Route-66. It is the former home to longtime bar, The Red Lion. A message appeared over the weekend paying homage to The Block That Rocks. And alluding to a selection on their upcoming menu, feature The Red Lion.
Q: WILL YOU ONLY SERVE PEOPLE IN MISSOURI? A: Only people in Missouri that have a medical patient card. Technically since I moved here from Colorado, I can be a resident but have a different drivers license.
Q: WHAT IF PEOPLE DON’T HAVE DOCTOR? A: We always recommend people work with their local Doctor. But if for any reason they don’t have access or currently with COVID the online options have really grown. So if someone can’t find a local Doctor then we can arrange them with someone online, and then you simply do it from your home which is fantastic.
Q: WHEN ARE YOU HOPING TO OPEN? A: We will be opening up Branson, Joplin and Springfield, all in a relatively close time frame. [We are not sure which location will open first] There are a couple of different variables that come into play: First, construction. And then we go to the state for commencement. They give us feedback or any recommendations that need to change. And those are the time frames we don’t have any control over. What we have seen in the past is that some stores that we were expecting to open first, opened last, and visa versa.
We are really hoping to beat the deadline by April 20. Which everyone knows is the universal day of celebration for cannabis. 4-20, so even in the medicinal markets, people that believe in the plant and are part of the medical movement really get out on that day. So we are really hoping to have all three of those Southwest locations open by then.
Q: HAVE YOU HIRED ALL YOUR STAFF? A: We find it extremely important to find the staff in the areas where we are going to be operating, even our General Managers. I’ll be hiring Managers and all associates all from the local area. Each facility we will start out with about 10-12 employees. People can apply online.
One thing we encourage people to do, even if they don’t have a medical card, come in and meet us. Come in and see what we do. I think the hardest thing about medical cannabis here in Missouri is getting people to walk in through the front door and understand it’s not a drug deal. It’s not anything intimidating. We are really here to improve your life. We are here to help guide you through the whole experience. And that first step is coming in and seeing that it’s not scary and it’s not a doctors office either.
We are very forward moving in how we want to represent our culture and how we are represented in the cannabis industry. Our locations are going to be clean. There is going to be music. There is going to be pop culture stuff on the walls. There is going to be a different atmosphere, after everything in 2020, who wants to go to another Doctor’s office? Our locations are a place where you can let your guard down and relax and get the products that are going to make you better.
Click here to visit their Joplin location website. Opening date coming soon. Visit their Frequently Asked Questions section for more information.