COLUMBIA- The newly opened Green Releaf Dispensary in Columbia overcame many obstacles to open its doors. The dispensary officially opened last Friday.

Store owner, Jay Patel, said the process of getting the dispensary licensed was a difficult one.

“It was a lengthy process where it was merit based, so we had to apply for application. The application took time and we got scored on it,” Patel said.

“There’s also other little things involved, such as getting a location that local jurisdiction allows. You also have to make sure it is convenient and accessible to the patient, and it will all work for the business too.”

Patel also said navigating COVID-19 and construction was difficult. The entire process took around two years to complete from start to finish.

Vincent Burnop, a budtender at the location, said it was worth the wait.

“I was talking to one gentleman, a military veteran, who also had cancer. He was initially taking around 37 prescriptions at one point in time every day, and he got it down to four,” Burnop said. “It’s really cool seeing guys like that who are able to treat everything they need to without any side effects.”

Burnop said the dispensary sees around 100 to 140 people

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