Eugene Monroe (center) addresses attendees in front of RISE. To his left is Andy Grossman, also a GTI director, shown with other staff members. (Photo by Mike Diegel)

Silver Spring’s first medical marijuana dispensary held a ribbon cutting and gave facility tours to local residents today as it prepares to open for business.

RISE Silver Spring, a subsidiary of Green Thumb Industries, LLC, hopes to be able to start dispensing products to registered patients in the next week or two, depending on when area growers can deliver approved cannabis, according to RISE officials.

One of those officials is Eugene Monroe, a Maryland resident, former NFL player and GTI partner for about four years.

“I got involved with GTI when I was still playing for the Baltimore Ravens,” Monroe said. “[GTI director and CEO] Pete Kadens came to Maryland looking to bring the business that he started in Illinois and expand it and bring medicine to patients in Maryland.

“It was at a time when I was heavy into research for medical cannabis usage for myself,” Monroe continued. “I was in the NFL having tons of injuries, taking tons of pills and decided that I needed to do things a better way. It just all happened at the same time, and I saw an opportunity to get involved with a business that was dead-set focused on providing quality medicine to patients in a dignified way.”

The company puts an emphasis on providing a comfortable, welcoming environment for people who are seeking relief from a variety of issues, he said.

Until products are available, potential patients can visit the dispensary at 7900 Fenton St. and get assistance with registering with the state as a medical marijuana patient and enrolling as a patient with RISE.

RISE also has copies of a state form outlining the 13 conditions to which patients and/or caregivers must agree before possessing or dispensing medical marijuana.

Ribbon cutting, tours held at Silver Spring’s first medical marijuana dispensary