Cannabis patient counts increasing, people’s lives transforming, dispensaries say
Published 2:20 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2023
BROOKHAVEN — Cannabis dispensaries have been legal in Brookhaven for six months now and they are still going strong. The Cannabis Company, Magnolia Greens and Good Day Farms remain the only dispensaries open in Brookhaven.
Le Anne Penn, co-owner of The Cannabis Company, said things are going well at the dispensary located on Brookway Boulevard. Dennis Sanders, owner of Magnolia Greens, echoed a similar tone, saying things are going well.
They hope increased patient counts will come in the coming months as more and more medical cannabis card applicants are being processed. Penn said there were less than 2,000 patients in January but patient counts have bumped up to close to 10,000.
“More cards get approved and turned around faster. They have gotten the waiting time down for cards too,” Penn said. ‘We still have people who come by and want to know how they can get a card. They need more information. When they can easily access it online and know how to get a card I think we will see even more increases in patients.”
She said The Cannabis Company has been blessed to not go a day without a patient purchasing from the dispensary. Her hope is the good business will continue and their line of products will grow too.
Tablets used to deliver medical marijuana as opposed to gummies, edibles or vapes are expected to hit the shelves in four to six weeks, Penn said. She added the most exciting thing is seeing people get the help they need.
“At the start, some of our patients were tired and hurting. They would come back and after a few weeks I could notice a difference,” Penn said. “Their world has changed and they are feeling better. It has been amazing. We have people who would take 25 pills a day and have cut it down to 5 in three to four months.”
Patients still face some challenges such as the limit of how much they can purchase and the rolling seven day wait period. Penn said as time moves along patients are understanding the rules more as with any change.
She said the company’s base is 75 percent returns and 25 percent new.
Fighting a stigma
Sanders said at Magnolia Greens they are also waiting on patient counts to pick up. One of the biggest things they advocate is education on the products and medical cannabis in general.
“We are trying to decrease the stigma around cannabis. We try to help patients understand what they need and give them a full breakdown on everything so they can make an informed decision,” Sanders said. “We see people who feel they need to be discreet due to the stigma. I hope people will understand this is medicine nonetheless. These people can get the help they need. I would hope to see the stigma change. We are here to advocate and will grow as the city and area grows.”
Sanders said he too has seen patients change since they started receiving medical cannabis.
“I have seen people come from the brink of being at their wits end with no relief and now they are jumping for joy,” he said. “It is a great feeling knowing I get to impact these people’s lives. I can help them and instill some relief and help them. That is why I got into medical cannabis.”