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Groton — Herbology, the long-awaited and first medical marijuana dispensary in Groton, the second in New London County, opened its doors Thursday.

The 5,047-square-foot facility at 79 Gold Star Highway, designed to have a modern apothecary feel, features a light-filled dispensary area and a waiting room with plants, seating and cannabis-themed posters.

The medical cannabis dispensary offers a range of products from edibles to flowers, and takes a “patient-first approach,” said Talley Wettlaufer, vice president and head of retail at Grassroots Cannabis, Herbology’s Chicago-based parent company.

Herbology’s staff, which includes pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and support staff, can help guide patients, whether they want to learn more about products or about the application process for a medical marijuana card, she said.

“All in all, we’re here to provide products and an experience and an education that’s meaningful and really helpful to all our patients to find relief and to start feeling better,” Wettlaufer said.

Herbology is the second dispensary in New London County, after Thames Valley Relief opened in Montville in 2014 and later expanded to a new facility on Route 32 in Montville.

Herbology is the 18th and final state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary to open, after two rounds of licensing awards, state Department of Consumer Protection Deputy Commissioner Arunan Arulampalam said. The state announced in December 2018 that the Groton facility was one of nine new sites chosen as part of the second round. The initial plan was for the dispensary to open at 78 Plaza Court.

As the state’s medical marijuana program and list of qualifying conditions grew, the state expanded the number of dispensaries to meet the greater demand and better serve the residents in the state, Arulampalam said.

Patients can apply for a medical marijuana certificate if they are a state resident being treated for a qualifying condition by a state-licensed physician or advanced practice registered nurse, according to the state DCP.

The DCP includes about 38 medical conditions for adults, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Groton facility represents Grassroots Cannabis’ first dispensary in Connecticut. With the new facility, the company has 37 dispensaries in 10 states, Wettlaufer said.

It was announced Thursday that cannabis operator Curaleaf acquired Grassroots, according to news reports and Cannabis Grassroots’ website.

Wettlaufer said the Gold Star Highway location has easy access to the highway, bus line and parking.

“We’re excited to be in a new community and serve new patients,” she added.

The dispensary opened Thursday in the remodeled building on Gold Star Highway, after previously announcing earlier opening dates. Wettlaufer said the company faced typical construction delays and also had to receive final state licensing and approval.

Kristin Hartnett, director of member services for the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce, welcomed Herbology to the community during a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday morning outside the facility.

“We’re so thrilled to be here this moment,” Hartnett said. “We’ve been waiting so long.”

Groton Economic and Community Development Manager Paige Bronk also welcomed the business to Groton. “We’re really excited,” he said. “We’re a growing community with a strong workforce, and we’re building our retail market with housing so I think you’re coming in at the right time. We really appreciate you coming into Groton.”

Herbology is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. More information is available at myherbology.com/connecticut/groton/.

k.drelich@theday.com

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