BRANSON, Mo. – After a few months of anticipation, Green Light Dispensaries is officially the first medical marijuana facility in Branson. Travis Harp, a retail general manager for Green Light, said he hopes to expand on the former location of Lone Star Steakhouse by possibly adding a farmers market in the future.

“Here off Green Mountain Drive, so it’s a beautiful facility. We’re only using part of the potential that it could possibly be,” said Harp.

Inside the first hour of their grand opening today, lines were so long that some patients were waiting in line outside. Lance T. Brown spoke about his family after he made his first visit to the dispensary.

“Having gone through some experiences of loss with family and watching them suffer through cancer and different disease,” said Brown. “Everybody can use a little Green Light today.”

Many medical marijuana patients voiced how happy they were to have a new facility closer to home, including Zachary McCrary.

“I live actually less than a mile away from here, so I’ve been waiting,” said McCrary. “I’ve been to Springfield. It was nice out there, but I like that it’s close.”

McCrary suffers from pain caused by an accident at work that cost him his legs.

“There was a shovel in the auger, and we jumped in there. I cleaned it out, and one of us left a shovel in there. I went to go reach for it and slid right in. It’s for my phantom pains. I get like tingling sensations in my legs, and it mellows them down to where I don’t have to deal with it, and I can handle it.”

Studies by Harvard Health have shown that marijuana can help with various medical conditions such as anxiety, glaucoma and general pain. Harp hopes this new facility will help patients that don’t want to take over-the-counter prescription medications.

“It does help with different ailments that people have, and if we can take people down from six to seven medications down to maybe one, that’s our goal.”

Even though the marijuana business is growing throughout Missouri and the United States, some experts are cautious about everyday use.

Below is an interview with cannabis author Tarris Batiste. He discusses his book, “Don’t Let It Smoke You” and his own experiences learning more about the prosperous marijuana industry.