Inside Look at Sussex County's Medical Marijuana Dispensary - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Inside Look at Sussex County's Medical Marijuana Dispensary

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LEWES, Del. - Sussex County is one step closer to getting its first medical marijuana dispensary-- the second in the state.

The First State Compassion Center is set to open its second location in the Vineyards at Nassau Valley complex in Lewes off Route 9. While First State Compassion Center President Mark Lally said previously they'd hoped to open in April, a spokesman for the company says now permits and security installations beyond their control have stopped them from determining an exact opening date at the moment.

 WBOC got a tour of the facility--still under construction-- from Lally earlier this month. Before patients can enter, they must show their card to an employee who sits behind a glass window. After their card is approved, they must leave personal belongings in lockers in the outside lobby. Once inside, there is a waiting area with TVs and a "menu" of what patients may buy, and seven service desks where employees help patients select their marijuana from glass cases reminiscent of jewelry cases. Patients may in cash or with a debit card and buy up to 3 ounces in a 14 day period. Lally says this new location was a long time coming.

"We are very excited," he says. "This is something we've been wanting for a long time to provide to our patients--safe, affordable, easy access from the places they live."

Lally says the Lewes location takes a burden off many, who currently have to travel to the New Castle County dispensary-- nearly 90 minutes away.

"From day one we opened up there, we heard the hardships of people who don't necessarily have reliable transportation or have transportation," Lally tells WBOC. 

At the moment, Sussex County medical marijuana patients may call-in their order to the New Castle County location.

Lally says the Lewes location will employ 10-15 people and interested applicants may call the New Castle dispensary or email them. He expects there to initially be 500 patients at the Sussex County location, with that number expected to double soon after.

On the tour, Lally pledged that the First State Compassion Center would be a good neighbor, and that nearby residents have been welcoming so far.

"It's not that scary industry where you are going to be crime ridden," he says. "In fact, there's been research done that where compassion centers are located, crime has gone down because we have security and cameras. So people tend to avoid it."

He also noted that since no one is allowed to consume medical marijuana on site, neighbors won't be subject to its smell.

When asked about the prospect of Delaware legalizing marijuana, Lally says he thinks it may actually help some medical marijuana patients.

"A lot of our patients, due to their disabilities, aren't able to work or have money," he says. "So to me, I would welcome recreational [use] as part of my business as a way to supplement my medical part, as a way to make it more affordable." 

Lally did not disclose how much medical marijuana costs in the facility.  

The Lewes dispensary will be 4,000 square feet large and employ 24 hour security.  

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