Medical marijuana company breaks ground in San Marcos

Mayor Jane Hughson speaks during a groundbreaking for medical marijuana company Goodblend in San Marcos on April 19. (Warren Brown/Community Impact Newspaper)

Local government and economic leaders met in an empty field in San Marcos on April 19 for the groundbreaking of a $25 million cannabis cultivation, production, distribution and retail facility being built by Parallel, a cannabis company operating in multiple states.

Parallel is able to sell certain marijuana products in Texas with low THC levels to qualifying patients under the state’s Compassionate Use Program, which was created in 2015.

President Marcus Ruark of Goodblend, the brand Parallel uses in Texas, said the company is one of three licensed to sell medicinal marijuana products in Texas. Compassionate Cultivation and Fluent are the other two companies.

Melissa Derrick, a member of San Marcos City Council, spoke at the event and described how evolving marijuana legality has affected her family, noting the difficulty in acquiring it for pain relief for her husband, who died of cancer complications.

“My son also has epilepsy, and there are many people in Texas who have children with epilepsy that had to live in RVs in Colorado while the breadwinner’s in Texas making money because they have to be somewhere they can treat their children that were having hundreds of seizures a day,” Derrick told attendees. “To me, this is very emotional, very exciting. I’m so glad that we’ve made it here.”

Texas residents diagnosed with conditions such as epilepsy, a seizure disorder, multiple sclerosis, spasticity, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, autism, terminal cancer or an incurable neurodegenerative disease can be approved for marijuana use by some physicians. Goodblend also provides a service for connecting patients with certified prescribers.

Parallel operates other businesses in Florida, Massachusetts and Nevada under the brands Surterra Wellness, Neta and The Apothecary Shoppe, respectively. Parallel is also preparing to operate under the Goodblend brand in Pennsylvania.

Unlike Parallel’s other brands that sell marijuana flower and other products with higher levels of THC for smoking and vaping, Goodblend’s Texas offerings are limited to gummies, lozenges, tinctures and lotions due to CUP regulations limiting types of cannabis products. Prices range from $30-$300.

Products can be ordered online under special pandemic regulations, which allow the delivery of such products. They will be purchasable on-site once the San Marcos facility opens.

“Council Member [Derrick] described how people today, here and now, have the real opportunity to receive benefit from this very effort that now we’re going to help amplify in our region,” Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra said. “This is also going to equip Goodblend to help Texans in need in a really big way because we’re a really big state.”

The 63,000-square-foot facility in San Marcos is expected to create hundreds of jobs, Ruark told groundbreaking attendees. Parallel employs some 1,700 people nationally and at partner clinics in Plano, Houston, Fort Worth and San Antonio.

“We are so pleased that Goodblend has chosen our city to be the home of [their] first Texas facility; that’s quite an honor,” Mayor Jane Hughson said. “You’ll be assisting many with their medical issues. We welcome you and the jobs you will bring to our residents.”

Ruark said parts of the facility should be operational by the end of 2021, and the 12-acre property has the capacity for future expansions.

“No community has been as welcoming as San Marcos, and we’re excited by the workforce that’s here,” Ruark said. “We’re gonna be doing a lot of growing this year and the coming years.”

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