Dayton’s first medical marijuana dispensary opens

Dayton’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened in the Oregon District on Wednesday.

Strawberry Fields at 333 Wayne Ave. officially opened for business on Wednesday but has been serving patients since Oct. 24.

Since that “soft opening,” Strawberry Fields has served about 10 patients per day, said Courtney Hinkle, general manager of the dispensary.

“We’re happy to be close to where a lot of our patients live,” Hinkle said.

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Before a patient can enter the dispensary, they must show their medical marijuana card and a government issued ID to security. The state requires the dispensary to be secure. There are surveillance cameras all around the facility and there is a Drug Enforcement Administration-rated vault inside where all product is kept at night, said Ian James, head of corporate development of CannAscend Ohio, the parent company of Strawberry Fields.

A patient must get a recommendation from their primary care physician to get a medical marijuana card.

John Helpling was one of the dispensary’s first patients on Wednesday.

He uses marijuana for nerve pain. He has been dealing with the pain since 2007.

“I was on opiates for a long time, bouncing from one opiate prescription to another,” Helpling said. “Some made me drowsy or irritable.”

Helpling said he doesn’t experience those problems with medical marijuana, so he is glad to have a dispensary nearby.

“I was driving three and a half hours before,” Helpling said.

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Strawberry Fields’ hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. James said those times could change if they find patients need different hours.

Strawberry Fields opened a dispensary in Marietta on Tuesday, in Monroe last week and plans to open one in Logan in mid-November, James said.

Strawberry Fields’ location in Dayton is the second medical marijuana dispensary in Montgomery County. Mad River Remedies in Riverside was the county’s first dispensary.

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