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Friar Among First Customers At Boston's First Medical Marijuana Dispensary

BOSTON (CBS) - This day has been a long time coming for Father Joseph Quinn.  He suffers from a rare illness that causes him debilitating pain.

"It's called Ogilvie syndrome. My entire digestive system no longer works," he told WBZ-TV.

Father Joseph Quinn
Father Joseph Quinn. (WBZ-TV)

That excruciating pain is unmanageable because Father Joseph is allergic to all pain medications.

"There were more than enough occasions when celebrating Mass that I just couldn't take the pain any longer and I would just start crying," he said.

His doctor recommended he use medical marijuana and it's the first treatment to restore his quality of life.

The problem, Father Joe says, is access.

He's been waiting and hoping for a dispensary to open nearby.

That happened Wednesday when Patriot Care opened its doors at 21 Milk Street, just two blocks from Saint Anthony shrine - with Father Joe cutting the ribbon in a grand opening ceremony.

patriot care medical marijuana
Father Joseph Quinn (center) cuts the ribbon at the grand opening of Patriot Care in Boston, Aug. 3, 2016.(WBZ-TV)

It's the first medical marijuana facility to open in Boston.

All of the products sold at this location are grown at a cultivation facility in Lowell.

More than 200 state certified patients have already pre-registered to shop at the facility and company officials say they're ready to serve at least 150 customers a day.

medical marijuana dispensary boston
Inside Patriot Care on Milk Street before the grand opening Wednesday. (WBZ-TV)

But some local businesses and community members worry the facility will increase safety and traffic problems.

"In other markets where we've opened, we've actually seen a decline in crime and that's because of the strength of our security systems and, frankly, the type of economic benefit we bring to the communities," CEO Robert Mayerson told WBZ.

medical marijuana dispensary boston
Inside Patriot Care on Milk Street before the grand opening Wednesday. (WBZ-TV)

This is the seventh dispensary to open in Massachusetts since voters approved marijuana for medical use four years ago.

This company is opening a third location in western Massachusetts later this year.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker reports

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