First dispensary in downtown STL opens this week as state prepares for recreational sales – KMOV4

ST. LOUIS (KMOV) – Amidst the sounds of construction in an ever-growing Downtown West neighborhood is where the St. Louis downtown region’s first marijuana dispensary now calls home.

“It’s about four years in the making, so we’re just excited. Bringing in the staff, training everybody, [and] getting the final inventory in,” Dan Pettigrew, Managing Partner at Viola STL, said.

Viola STL, also the Downtown region’s first black-owned dispensary, was set to have its grand opening Monday. However, because of additional finishing touches needed for the space, the co-founders tell News 4 they plan to open to patients with medical marijuana cards starting Tuesday.

“Customer service is very important as a retail location, and we kind of want to get all the hiccups out of the way,” said Pettigrew.

The facility’s opening comes about two weeks away from when licensed marijuana dispensaries that have applied and been approved for a comprehensive license can begin selling marijuana to adults 21 and up for recreational use.

“The biggest thing again for us is just ensuring that it’s purchased and possessed lawfully and safely and kept out of the hands of kids,” said Lisa Cox, director of communications for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Ninety-seven percent of

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