First medical marijuana dispensary opens in Kansas City

Photo: Fresh Green is Kansas City’s first medical marijuana dispensary. (Fresh Green)

Zackary Zeller

Kansas City is going green. Fresh Green, with locations in Lee’s Summit and Waldo, is the first official medical marijuana dispensary open in the Kansas City area. 

Plans for medical marijuana in KC have been in the works since 2018, when Missourians passed Amendment 2, which allowed the sale of medical marijuana across the state. Fresh Green is one of 40 dispensaries approved for the area and the first to start serving customers.  

The owner and president of Fresh Green, Rob Sullivan, has extensive experience in law, cannabis advocacy, cultivation and medical cannabis retail experience.  

“Fresh Green as a company hopes to fulfill the mission of bettering the lives of those patients that will benefit from medical cannabis but may not be able to afford it,” Fresh Green’s website states. “The company will be operated for profit; however, a dedicated percentage of that profit will always be earmarked for discounts available to veterans and low-income patients in need.” 

According to Harvard Medical School, the most common use for medical marijuana in the United States is for pain control. While marijuana isn’t strong enough to treat severe pain, it is quite effective for the chronic pain that plagues millions of Americans, especially as they age. Patients claim that marijuana allows them to resume their previous activities without feeling completely disengaged. 

The health benefits marijuana provides attract all ages to dabble in its potential calming effects.  

“Cannabis acts with the body’s endocannabinoid system regulators. There are two active ingredients in cannabis. [The first is] tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The second active ingredient is cannabidiol (CBD),” Nathan Kalwei, a pharmacy major at UMKC, said. “Both of the compounds are shaped like natural neurotransmitters that our bodies’ receptors recognize and use to regulate neural activity affecting pain, mood and stress response.”  

The Kansas City Star reported that Fresh Green dispensary in Lee’s Summit opened Oct. 19 and had sold out its stock by the end of the day, serving about 500 customers.

The demand for the medical use of marijuana is stronger than ever, as the opening sales of Fresh Green indicate. Medical usage aside, the high demand also allows for great business opportunities for the local economy.  

“I think there are many ways that this could help the economy,” said UMKC business major Mary Petropoulos. “It has the potential to boost more small businesses, create jobs and push more brick-and-mortar stores to help the real-estate industry out in this massive surge of online shopping.” 

In order to purchase medical marijuana in a legal and safe manner, customers must bring a valid government-issued photo ID and a current valid copy of their Missouri Medical Marijuana Qualifying Patient Card.

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