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Medical cannabis dispensary open in Mankato

Just over 33,000 Minnesotans are qualified to get medical marijuana. Rise has five other retail locations in Minnesota: Eagan, Hibbing, St. Cloud, St. Paul and Willmar.

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MANKATO — Patients in the Mankato region with medical marijuana prescriptions no longer have to drive to the Twin Cities for cannabis products.

A RISE Dispensary has opened on the east end of Madison East Center.

"We're excited to join the Mankato market. There hasn't been a cannabis dispensary in Mankato, and we've had a lot of patients drive a long way to get their prescription at our Eagan location," said Sarah Lynch, commercial general manager for RISE's Minnesota operations.

RISE is part of Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries, one of the largest cannabis companies in the country.

A representative from Green Thumb Industries said Green Thumb operates 77 retail locations and 17 grow facilities in 15 states. "We have a few different retail brand stores with RISE being the biggest with 56 locations."

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Just over 33,000 Minnesotans are qualified to get medical marijuana.

Late last year Green Thumb acquired LeafLine Industries — one of two licensed medical cannabis cultivators and distributors in the state.

While Green Thumb operates in several states that also have legal recreational marijuana, the company said they see potential growth in Minnesota, where only medical marijuana is currently legal. They said more education about and familiarity with medical cannabis will show more people the benefits of using it.

Lynch said medical marijuana is approved for a variety of ailments, including cancer, ALS, PTSD, autism and more.

Lynch said people can talk to their doctor about whether they qualify for medical cannabis and then register with the state. Once approved, they can talk with a dispensary pharmacist about what type of product would work best for them.

"We have vapes, sublingual spray, oral suspension drops, topical creams for pain, lozenges," she said.

Last year Minnesota also legalized the smoking of medical marijuana.

"That's been a great addition to the program because it opens up different forms of cannabis and different price points," Lynch said.

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And starting Aug. 1, it will be legal for Minnesota dispensaries to sell edible gummies.

"We're offering discounts and we'll have people on site to educate anyone interested in medical cannabis and how they can register for it," Lynch said.

Profits from the first day of operation at RISE were donated to Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota.

RISE Mankato, 1400 Madison Ave., is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Rise has five other retail locations in Minnesota: Eagan, Hibbing, St. Cloud, St. Paul and Willmar.

Green Thumb, which is publicly traded in Canada, reported revenue of $556 million for 2020, a growth of 157% compared with the year before.

(c)2022 The Free Press (Mankato, Minn.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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