Brookhaven’s first medical marijuana dispensary to open in the fall

Published 12:37 pm Wednesday, August 3, 2022

The city’s first medical marijuana dispensary will soon arrive under the banner of The Cannabis Company.

Co-owned by Le Anne Penn and Mitch Parker, the medical dispensary was the first to be licensed in Brookhaven and in the state of Mississippi.

“I am a legal, licensed business in the State and in the City of Brookhaven,” Penn said. “I got my building permit (Monday) and we’re getting ready to start our build out.”

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Penn, a Canton native, and her fiance’ Parker had already planned to build a house in his hometown of Wesson to be near his family. Brookhaven seemed the perfect location to open their new venture.

“We are hoping to be ready as early as the first day of product arriving. It will probably be about the end of October or into November,” Penn said.

“We are bringing in one person already and we’ll probably need a couple of other people with the proper qualifications,” said Penn. “We will hire those within the area.”

The dispensary will be located in the business plaza at 939 Brookway Blvd., next to Bestway Rent-to-Own. The facility will operate like a highly-regulated pharmacy. But this will not be a neighborhood drug store selling candy, cards, photos and gifts. Access will be limited.

“You will have to be over the age of 21 to get inside,” said Penn. “You must have a medical certification card and a valid ID to enter the facility. Those will be verified at the front desk and scanned into software integrated with the State’s system.”

Once verified, the person will be admitted into a waiting area, where patients will then be taken one at a time into a secure medical room. Medical personnel will help the patient get what he or she needs at that point.

“You do not see any products displayed anywhere. Law requires it must be behind locked doors,” Penn said. “We are a retail facility, but only for medical cannabis-certified patients.” Security will also be extensive, including enough cameras to keep every part of the facility under full visual surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The medications will be kept within locked cases, and within a vault overnight.

Penn said she is excited about what her business – and others like it – will do for the community and for potential patients.

“Patients can only buy one week’s worth of product at a time, so they will have to travel to or in the City of Brookhaven four times a month,” she said. “We’ll bring more revenue to the city and to Lincoln County because people who live out of town will do more shopping while they’re here.”

But Penn said the people who could be helped by the use of medical cannabis are her main concern.

“The main thing is bringing relief to some of these patients who have not been able to find it in other medications or treatments,” she said. “It’s like any other medicine — it won’t help everyone. But people should have access to it and have the option if it could help them.”

The majority of registered voters in Brookhaven and Mississippi apparently agreed when they voted to allow medical cannabis production, dispense and use. Lincoln County’s registered voters will make their final decision known in a special election Aug. 30.

Penn said she and her soon-to-be husband are eagerly anticipating building their home and business in the area.

“We are looking forward to having the community embrace us, and us embracing the community, as well.”