Medical marijuana on Concord Pike

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Hello everyone,

Delaware Business Now had a record-shattering week when it came to page views.

The reason? Publicly traded cannabis giant Columbia Care quietly issued a press release announcing the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries in Delaware, Maryland and Florida.

Their newest Delaware location is on heavily traveled Concord Pike north of Wilmington. The company has a dispensary-grow site in Smyrna, a relatively isolated location for many without private transportation.

The write-up, which included some background on medical marijuana in Delaware and efforts to legalize recreational use, apparently went viral.

Stories that gain a lot of page views are not the norm at Delaware Business Now. Our focus is on business news stories that are not known for their ability to “break the Internet.”

The exceptions are stories about restaurants opening and closing, white-collar crime stores (home improvement fraud gets a lot of traffic), and medical marijuana.

The interest is understandable. The number of applications for medical marijuana cards has skyrocketed (see related graphic) with the number of dispensaries growing at a slower pace.

The laborious process of opening the Fresh dispensary and grow site on Ogletown Road, Newark, drew many questions and social media comments before the Fresh location finally opened at a former home and garden center.

With the opening of the Columbia dispensary on Concord Pike, Delaware now has five medical marijuana stores.

So far, neither the cities of Dover or Wilmington have a dispensary. The fast-growing Middletown area has also been bypassed and western Sussex County is not in the picture.

Why so few stores amid growing demand? Grow sites are limited for one thing and medical pot can’t be shipped into Delaware.

There are suspicions that medical marijuana is taking a back seat to legalization efforts as outlined in a Delaware Business Now op-ed piece earlier this year. At the time, the proposed legislation called for the medical marijuana stores to also be dispensaries for legalized weed.

The measure would put the out-of-state entities like Columbia Care that largely control the industry in the catbird seat if legalization becomes a reality.

An upcoming Fiscal 2019 annual report on medical marijuana from a unit of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services will provide more insights into the growth of people with the medical marijuana card.

Meanwhile, it is clear that more than a few people are interested in seeing the location of the next grow site and/or store.

Enjoy the day and the changing colors of fall. If this newsletter was passed along,sign up here to get your own free five-day-a-week E-mail. –Doug Rainey, chief content officer.

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