JOPLIN, Mo. — A new medical marijuana dispensary is preparing to open its doors in Joplin.

Besame Wellness Dispensary held its soft opening this weekend.

So far Missouri has 196 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries according to the “Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.”

142 of those have been approved to operate.

Besame Director of Operations Nicholas Higbee says recent state legislation has motivated more dispensaries to open up which he hopes will end the stigma that exists for medical marijuana.

Nicholas Higbee, Besame Wellness Director of Operations, says, “It always has been a schedule one drug and it’s always been looked at as a foreign substance that cared to research. Well the more research we get and the legalization, the more we’re learning about the plant and its benefits and we’re really starting to scratch the surface now on what the plant can truly do.”

This will be the company’s first location outside the Kansas City area and sixth location overall.

Besame wellness will open its Joplin dispensary on September 9.