Tom Howell Jr.
December 26, 2012
This time, there will be plants.
Fifteen years after voters gave the green-light to a medical marijuana program in the nationâ€™s capital, a pair of locations approved to grow or sell the drug have cleared regulatory hurdles and will set up shop a few months into the new year, according to city officials.
A cultivation site in the Northeast quadrant of the city obtained its certificate of occupancy this month, meaning it can grow marijuana once the D.C. Department of Health completes a final inspection. It is one of six sites approved to grow the drug for medical purposes before it is sold at one of five dispensaries scattered across the city. One such dispensary, located just a mile north of the Capitol, also obtained its occupancy documents.
The development is significant because it means marijuana will be available to qualified patients after years of congressional interference and local rule-making. The application process among interested entrepreneurs took more than a year, and the majority of approved cultivation centers clustered in Northeast and dispensaries scattered across the District are still building out their sites and acquiring the necessary permits and business licenses.