Portland Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens Today; “We are so excited,” Becky DeKeuster

Becky DeKeuster, Executive Director, Maine Wellness Org. and Diane Schinella, R.N. Manager of the Portland Dispensary

By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,009)

“We are seeing our first patients this morning. We are so excited about it,” said a happy Becky DeKeuster, executive director, of the new medical marijuana dispensary in Portland this morning.

“Between finding the right location, securing the financing and all the permits, the rennovation inside which cost $150,000, a security system, new flooring, breaking down part of a concrete wall, we think it’s a beautiful and welcoming place,” said DeKeuster. Becky is executive director of Wellness Connection of Maine.

Initially, the dispensary will be interviewing patients for 45 minutes or so to determine their needs, experience with medicines, etc. Until this 685 Congress Street location opened up, some of their patients have been traveling to Hallowell to receive marijuana. But now, that has changed. The dispensary expects to have 100 patients within the next couple of months. Currently, there are three kinds of marijuana avaible, but more will be available in the future.

“The hardest part of this entire process has been being patient and keeping focused on the vision and mission with all the day-to-day challenges,” said DeKeuster. The establishment of this Portland facility has provoked much public and press scrutiny over the past year or so. The State licensed the company in 2010.

The company has two other dispensaries up and running. Thomaston opened last May and the Hallowell facility in December. The Brewer facility is expected to open next month. Portland is expected to be the largest and busiest facility of them all. “I’ve been using my car as an office,” said a beaming DeKeuster at the dispensary earlier today. But each facility has space for administrative offices which I’ll use more and more now. The hard work is just beginning.”

A formal opening is planned for later this year.

Please visit www.mainewellness.org for more information.