FERGUSON, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Three new medical marijuana dispensaries aim to stimulate the local economy in North St. Louis County, as they look to serve and employ the people who live there.
Greenlight Dispensary is opening three new locations in the St. Louis area in Ferguson, Berkeley and in St. Louis' Baden neighborhood. The Ferguson location, located at 517 S. Florissant, is slated to open Friday morning at 10 a.m.
"We hope when people go to Greenlight, they may stop somewhere in Ferguson on Florissant Road and get a sandwich or something at one of our restaurants," said Mayor Ella Jones. "So, we're looking for the traffic to be positive, bringing additional customers to Ferguson."
Jones said the city, along with countless others, has struggled throughout the pandemic. Many of the city's local restaurants are laying off employees and having a hard time keeping their doors open, according to Jones.
"Marley's closed, Cork Wine Bar closed, so a lot of people are having problems staying open with this pandemic," Jones said.
She blames their troubles on the restrictions put in place on indoor dining in St. Louis County, adding many of the restaurants can't sustain themselves on carry-out or curbside alone.
Greenlight Dispensary is offering to provide a medical exam with a physician at no charge to North County residents who do not have a medical marijuana card.
Jones said the addition of the dispensary will add to the city's tax base and put the previously vacant building back on the tax roll and she's hopeful the investment will bring additional businesses to Ferguson.
"You just notice that it enriches the neighborhood, increases the quality of life and helps to build other businesses coming in," said Eric Masters of Greenlight Dispensary.
Employees serving the communities they live in is rewarding for some.
"For me, that is what I'm about," she said. "We're here for the communities, we're here for the culture and to maintain it."