Members of Canton Rotary learned about the impacts of newly legalized recreational marijuana during their regular meeting Wednesday at Graham Hospital.
CANTON-Members of Canton Rotary learned about the impacts of newly legalized recreational marijuana during their regular meeting Wednesday at Graham Hospital.
Manager Greg Gossett told the group Rise, formerly Salveo Health and Wellness, the marijuana dispensary in Canton changed its name after merging with Green Thumb Industries (GTI) which is headquartered in Chicago, to help the business compete in the future. He said the merger would help the dispensary have access to better product and improve consumer services.
Gossett said Rise was a proud member of the community, noting as of July 1, the city of Canton would receive an additional 3 percent of tax revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana and Fulton County would an additional .75 percent which could be used for such things as education and drug addiction programs.
And while Gossett noted marijuana was still listed as a narcotic by federal law enforcement officials he was quite certain the federal government would eventually legalize cannabis. And when that happened, Gossett said the federal government would probably lose a substantial amount of money.
Gossett also told the group the security situation at the dispensary was extremely tight and that no attempted robberies or break-ins had been attempted since the dispensary had been opened.
Product safety was also a major concern, and Gossett said everything sold at the dispensary was tested by an independent lab. He added no pesticides were allowed for growers in Illinois. And while the dispensary did sell vape cartridges, none of them were compatible with JUUL products.
In order to operate legally, Rise was regulated by three government agencies, the Agricultural Department, the Office of Finance and Professional Services and the State Police. Regulations included prohibiting cannabis dispensaries from being within a certain distance of schools or licensed day care centers. Transportation of cannabis across state lines was illegal and there was a limit on how much cannabis a person could possess. Cannabis use was also limited to consumption in private.
Gossett said over 800 people were in line to buy cannabis Jan. 1. Despite the large number of customers, no tickets or arrests were made, and while there were a few 911 calls they stopped after an announcement was made to stop them.
He remarked the dispensary actually had a customer who had come from the UK.
When Gossett, who was a former warden, was asked why he decided to get into the cannabis business while law enforcement was officially against it, Gossett remarked many officers said they were opposed to legalized marijuana because they had to be.
“I was one of them,” Gossett said. “But my eyes were opened when I saw my first MS patient walk.”