by Nolan Treadway
Not enough Wal-Marts coming to DC for you? Well, coming March 3, the “Wal-Mart of Weed” will be opening on Rhode Island Ave NE:
The growing franchise sells all of the products and services one would need to grow marijuana or other indoor plants, but does not sell the plant itself.
weGrow D.C. franchisee Alex Wong secured a lease for the store at 1522 Rhode Island Ave, NE. The 2,500 square-foot store will feature a similar layout to weGrow’s West Coast retail stores and will provide a full array of products and services to medical marijuana cultivators and indoor gardening enthusiasts.
The Washington, DC Store is weGrow’s first on the east coast and comes just as DC is setting up the polices that will govern it’s medical marijuana program. They’re also taking one of the last vacant retail storefronts on RIA that has any parking. The store will be located two doors down from Flip-It (there is a largeish apartment building in between), at what used to be a used car lot. It’s near the intersection of RIA, 15th and Franklin (it’s also adjacent to the former DC One-Stop Service Center).
Tucked at the bottom of the press release the man who will operate this franchise, Alex Wong, reveals they are interested in supporting community projects, just not the RIA community (at least not yet):
In preparation for opening, weGrow D.C. will be the official sponsor at the upcoming First Annual Washington DC Medical Marijuana Symposium on Feb 2nd. The symposium is geared to local entrepreneurs to discuss best practices and to address concerns facing this new and unique industry. The event is invitation-only.
I wonder if weGrow or Mr. Wong has reached out to any neighborhood groups or if he’s just trying to worried about getting an ‘in’ with the weed crowd? The Greater Brookland Garden Club is a very active group, I wonder if they’ll be in touch about helping with the home and garden tour?
I presume because it’s a legitimate commercial business that is within current zoning laws, they are not required to engage the community in any kind of benefits agreement (they’re not selling or growing any marijuana on site, just the equipment to do so). But given the controversial nature of the store and the community’s well documented hesitations about anything involving drugs, it will be interesting to see if and how they engage the community.