First medical marijuana dispensary in QC opens its doors

First patient to purchase is under 21 years old

By Morgan Briesmaster | mbriesmaster@whbf.com

Published 02/12 2016 06:27PM

Updated 02/15 2016 01:55PM

Doors opened on Friday at the first medical marijuana dispensary in the Quad Cities.
 
"Nature's Treatment of Illinois" in Milan took just eights months to build, but it was a process years in the making.
 
On Friday, they held a soft opening.
 
Their first customer was a recent Rock Island High School graduate.
 
At just 18-years-old, Dalton Kettering was the first patients to purchase medical marijuana from the Milan dispensary. Most patients have to be 21 years or older, but his story is an exception.
 
"I really didn't think anything of it," Kettering said.
 
Wrestling state champion Dalton Kettering remembers the day he got hurt.
 
"I hit my head on the mat and everything just kind of went -- lights started flashing because my eyes couldn't stop moving," he said.
 
Years down the road and five surgeries later, Kettering still suffers from nerve damage in the back of his head.
 
Kettering continued, "The medicines and the pills and everything I've tried either made me feel like a zombie or just like really wired up."
 
Dalton still has constant headaches and seizures weekly.
 
"If I take a hit of marijuana it goes away instantly," he explained.
 
Dalton got permission  to legally use the drug from his doctor  after six years of regular visits.
 
"It works a lot better than any medicine I've every taken," Kettering continued.
 
His family and friends were reluctant. Dalton says the change in him has helped them overcome their perception of the federally illegal drug.
 
"When I brought it up to them they thought it was crazy," Kettering said. "Now, their whole perception of marijuana has changed."
 
During their opening Friday, we had limited access, but recently before opening owner Matt Stern gave us an exclusive tour of the dispensary. 
 
"GTI (Green Thumb Industries) will probably bring us most our product, because they are so close," said Stern, walking alongside the medical marijuana products he had out for display.
 
One week later, Stern is anxious to officially open for business.
 
"Very excited, a little bit nervous but we're ready to go," he said.
 
He and Kettering are confident the Illinois pilot program will extend beyond it's 2017 expiration date.
 
"Once the governor and state see the benefit that people are receiving," Matt said, "I think there is no doubt that they program will continue and of course I'm sure they will like the tax revenue as well."
 
"You don't have to fully support it, but understand that it's more of a medicine than anything," Kettering said.
 
Eventually the dispensary expects up to 500 patients.

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