LORAIN — Bryan Lloyd, the retail director for Rise Dispensary and GTI Ohio, welcomed guests and media representatives to a ribbon cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon.
Rise Dispensary is the second in Lorain County and the first in Lorain at 1920 Cooper Foster Park Road. The dispensary is a part of GTI Ohio, also known as Green Thumb Industries, which is based in Chicago with more than 600 employees. GTI was approved by the state in June for the Lorain location.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of the community and start contributing to the community and really educating those around us,” he said.
The location previously was a Lorain National Bank and had been abandoned for more than a decade. The dispensary is nearly finished, but the parking lot still is without asphalt. Solar panels still are to be installed.
Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer spoke at the grand opening, commending the dispensary’s presence as a benefit for the city.
“What’s happening here today is great for patients,” He said. “I think it’s great for those who are seeking medicines that they want, and that they are in charge of their own destinies.”
John Pardee, patient and community outreach manager for GTI Ohio, and Lorain Clerk of Courts Ted Kalo also spoke at the ceremony.
The entrance to Rise has narrow room where security must approve a patient to be buzzed into the rest of the building.
Once approved, the patient will enter the waiting room, where he or she will enter their personal information and show their state-issued identification and medical marijuana identification card. Once logged in, they will wait in the room until they are called into the retail room. The room contains a long counter able to accommodate only a maximum of six people at a time with a caregiver. Each client in the room must have a caregiver at all times who will communicate and carry out the medical marijuana selection and purchasing. The retail room will have a video screen with a list of available dispensary products.
Rise also will have a about 10 employees, both part- and full-time, on the property with security present at all times. Because the dispensary was built within a bank, the marijuana product is stored in what was the vault. No product currently is inside the building.
The official opening date has not been set, but Lloyd said the opening will be soon and will notify the public when they are ready to open. Lloyd expects about 4,500 to 5,500 customers over the next six to seven months after opening.
Rise Dispensary will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. GTI also was approved for four other locations in Ohio, including Cleveland, Toledo and two in Lakewood.