Portsmouth medical marijuana dispensary hoping to open soon, weighs in on adult-use legalization in Virginia

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Posted at 9:19 PM, Dec 22, 2020

PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Owners of a medical marijuana dispensary in Hampton Roads are hoping to open soon. Meanwhile, they’re also weighing in on Governor Ralph Northam's support of wanting to legalize adult-use marijuana in the Commonwealth.

Officials with Columbia Care said they’re hoping to have an update in the next month or so for plans at their Portsmouth dispensary.

“It's a great opportunity for economic development,” Columbia Care VP of Corporate Affairs, Adam Goers, told News 3. “That's going to be our first location. That's where we're cultivating and processing the medicines, and initially also dispensing them to patients.”

Columbia Care is a national, medicinally-focused cannabis company operating in more than a dozen states.

“What differentiates us is a focus on high quality pharmaceutical products, which patients can come to expect,” Goers said.

Goers told News 3 the company's focus has been on providing alternative care.

“Whether that's a child with epilepsy, or a veteran with PTSD, or a middle-aged woman with anxiety or chronic pain issues, there's an option here,” he said.

But as they prepare to roll out their location in Hampton Roads, Governor Northam has voiced his support of legalizing adult-use marijuana in Virginia.

Goers said an adult-use industry could bring more jobs and economic growth, as well as raise the market size.

“Adult-use can increase sales from a medical market by 4, 5, 6x, which ultimately means more tax base, more jobs, more opportunity and a lot of entrepreneurial opportunity,” he said. “Those that are seeking cannabis in an adult-use environment may in fact be using it to treat a medical or a health and wellness condition, but have not been able to get patient certification.”

Goers said he's for adult-use legalization in the Commonwealth as long as it helps with patient access and protecting the medical market.

“We have to make sure that we protect patients, first and foremost,” he said.