ST. CLOUD -- A new medical marijuana dispensary is opening in St. Cloud.  It's the first dispensary in the St. Cloud area and only the second one outside of the Twin Cities metro. The other non-metro dispensary is in Rochester.

Leafline Labs is opening the store in the old Hollywood Video store along 33rd Avenue South.

Company co-founder and CEO Dr. Andrew Bachman says Minnesota's restrictive medical marijuana laws are a model for many of the other 23 states now allowing medical marijuana.

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The growing number of fatalities from prescription drug overdoses, known as opioids, has more doctors looking to marijuana as a treatment option.  Prince's death has also put opioid addiction back into the spotlight.  Bachman says state and federal agencies are beginning to support medical marijuana as a safe alternative to opioid treatments.

Dr. Bachman says Leafline Labs has attracted approximately 1,200 patients in their first year.  He expects that number to grow as more dispensaries open and provide easier access to the medicine.  He also says opening up eligibility to other illnesses should increase the number of patients seeking medicinal marijuana.

Leafline Labs also has plans to open clinics in Hibbing and St. Paul by July First. They currently have a production facility in Cottage Grove and a store in Eagan.

There will be a grand opening of their new St. Cloud clinic Monday, June 6.