Three years after the state gave its OK and more than two years after Temescal Wellness announced plans to site a medical cannabis dispensary in Keene, Monadnock Region patients who qualify now have access to relief without an hours-long trip.

The facility was announced in January of 2019, to open later that year. Somehow it took more than two years to come to fruition, debuting April 17. Its operators told The Sentinel the first few weeks saw brisk business.

It’s no wonder.

A long trip has been part of the deal for local patients since the state approved medical marijuana and licensed four dispensaries. For the Monadnock Region, the closest dispensaries have been in Merrimack, almost 50 miles from Keene, and in Lebanon, nearly 70 miles from the Elm City. That’s a long trip for those suffering from the types of ailments the state allows cannabis to be used to treat. Frequently, it’s used to alleviate pain, and those with debilitating illnesses — the list of qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card includes cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, lupus, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries —

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