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2 medical dispensaries open in Maryland

Medical marijuana is now being sold in Maryland after two dispensaries -- one in Montgomery County and another in Allegany County -- opened for business.

The two stores opened Friday after five years of bureaucracy and delays. Finishing touches are being put on a dispensary in Pikesville.

Patrick Allison, who suffers from chronic pain, was among those in a long line of customers that formed outside the door of Rockville's first medical marijuana dispensary.

"I'm at the end of my rope. I need something to cut the pain in half. To be hooked on opiates is not the answer," Allison said.

Potomac Holistics requires customers to have a referral from a doctor, and they have to prove they tried other medicines first.

"What we are trying to do is create a whole new genre of pain reduction and improve people's lives. Hopefully, now we will be able to make that available so people don't have to fly to Colorado and do anything illegal," said Bill Askinazi, co-owner of Potomac Holistics.

Other licensees, such as Temescal Wellness in Pikesville, are still scrambling to open their doors. The licensed dispensary wants to open in a vacant strip mall. The business had been entangled in the zoning process.

So far, only two of the 10 licensed dispensaries are open for business. As many as 91 companies granted pre-approval status are still waiting for a final decision.

According to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, the 10 licensed dispensaries include:

  • Allegany Medical Marijuana, Allegany County
  • Chesapeake Alternatives, Montgomery County
  • Cannabus LLC, Montgomery County
  • Growing Ventures LLC, Howard County
  • GTI Maryland LLC, Montgomery County
  • K&R Holdings Inc., Frederick County
  • Maryland Wellness Access LLC, Howard County
  • Peninsula Alternative Health LLC, Wicomico County
  • Southern Maryland Relief LLC, St. Mary's County
  • Wellness Institute of Maryland, Frederick County
Potomac Holistics considers medical marijuana an alternative to opioids and believes doctors and the public are slowly coming around to accepting the benefits of the plant.

"Previous generations, cannabis was looked at as an evil drug. It wasn't understood. Doctors are reserved, they are conservative by nature, but they are slowly coming around to the benefits," Askinazi said.

[source: / published: Dec 5. 2017]


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