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First medical marijuana clinic to open in Lethbridge in July

WATCH ABOVE: Early next month, a medical marijuana clinic will open its doors in Lethbridge. It will be the first of its kind in the city, offering support to anyone looking to access medical marijuana. Joe Scarpelli has more.

Lethbridge’s first medical marijuana clinic is set to open its doors early next month.

Calgary-based 420 Clinic will be located at 330 7th Street South.

This is welcoming news for Lethbridge resident Kristina Tanaka, who suffers from trouble sleeping.  She also has mild anxiety, stemming from postpartum depression nine years ago. She’s been taking prescription drugs ever since.

“I don’t feel that I need that medication anymore but trying to wean myself off, I suffer from headaches and nausea and mood swings and I can’t do that to myself, my family, my children,” she said. “I need a smoother transition.”

Tanaka doesn’t smoke pot, but after researching alternatives to her prescription, she now has her sights set on the natural substance.

“It’s been around for thousands of years. I mean, humans have been taking this as a medicine since the dawn of time.”

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420 Clinic’s mission is to ‘help patients navigate the medical marijuana laws open to Canada’.  That includes pain management for seniors and anyone taking prescription pills to manage pain associated with a disease.

420 Clinic customer care manager Kalissa Bellefeuille expects to hit the ground running. She says the clinic will offer professional consultations and education before recommending a marijuana prescription from a licensed physician for clients.

READ MORE: Southern Alberta marijuana business growth exploding ahead of legalization 

For now, the clinic will not carry marijuana.

“We’re like the liaison between you and the physician,” Bellefeuille said.

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She says it’s important for clients like Tanaka to find the right fit.

“Let’s say you don’t have any experience with cannabis, you go to your doctor, your doctor writes you a prescription, you go online, you order without talking to anybody about anything, you just kind of figure it out on your own… You’re likely to use the wrong strains and maybe too high of a THC,” Bellefeuille said.

READ MORE: Canada to legalize pot by July 1, 2018: report

Which is what Tanaka wants to avoid.

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“I’ve been waiting for the clinic to open and to educate myself and go through the proper channels,” Tanaka said.

Once marijuana is legalized in Canada, Bellefeuille says she plans to turn all locations into dispensaries.

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