Lauren Bixby was an athlete and a teacher. Four years ago, she was diagnosed with endometriosis.
“As the years went on the pain got worse," said Bixby.
The 33-year-old had seventeen surgeries.
“My body has said I can’t work anymore and some days I can’t get out of bed and some days I can’t eat," she said.
Bixby said traditional pain medications like opioids only make her feel worse:
"When I go to new doctors and they ask what I use for pain and I say I’m a medical marijuana patient half are excited because it means I’m not on opioids. The other half question me and tell me I’m a drug addict because I’m using a drug."
"Rise" is one of the first medical marijuana dispensaries to open in Maryland. Bixby said it gives her hope:
“I’m excited Maryland has finally got this program up and running because we need to get rid of the weird stereotypes people have about people who use marijuana. It’s a medication that will help me. Most days it’s a struggle to sleep and eat. To have consistent access to medication, like this, that’s high quality will make my days more tolerable.“
Not everyone approves of medical cannabis dispensaries opening up in Maryland. Recently, in Prince George's County, dozens held a protest.