Metro on the verge of medical marijuana debut

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) -- New medical marijuana dispensaries are set to open their doors in Iowa, including a shop in Council Bluffs.

It will be one of five across the state and operators say they want to make people feel comfortable about coming in, letting them know medical marijuana is just another option.

From what we saw, the process is as easy as going in to buy a phone.

We were there as workers scrambled to get the store ready for their big open Saturday morning.

They're called Have a Heart. Charley Wells says it's all about informing the community.

“We've gone into communities where it was kind of a taboo thing and people still had their concerns about it. What we do is really try to educate.”

That's why he says they've made it easy for customers to ask questions. They'll have information on interactive touch screens and medical consultants to help guide you in the right direction.

But not just anyone can come in and buy some cannabis. In order to come in and be able to purchase product you do have to have a prescription.

Wells says they have a selection of 14 products approved by the state. They sell them in liquid form, pills, topical creams and lotions and it could cost you anywhere from $15 a unit to $130.

“It's another option,” Wells said. “A lot of the folks that are going to be coming in here, they've only had the typical pharmaceuticals - your opioids and things like that - to help with pain.”

Ad he says the need is growing because this alternative has fewer side effects than other drugs.

Right now we're told there's a limited amount of doctors in the state currently prescribing marijuana.

Have a Heart says they're getting ahead of a growing movement. They're opening this location in Council Bluffs and another one in Davenport.

“After we open and people see the space and kind of see it's not something to be scared of. It's a welcoming area where people are not passing judgment. We're here to help."

The store opens at 9 a.m. Saturday.

If you're not a patient, you can still go in and look around. Workers will let you know what you need to do to be approved for this type of medication.