We Grow It But Let’s Not Dispense It

The outcry from Ward 5 residents must not have accomplished or gotten their point across to City leaders. According to the Washington Post, Ward 5 will be home to six cultivation centers for medical marijuana, with four of them located in Langdon. Below is an excerpt of their locations:

Williams’s cultivation center, Abatin Wellness Center, has been approved for the 2100 block of Queens Chapel Road in Langdon, according to a city list obtained by The Washington Post.

The department also selected Montana Apothecary dba Alternative Solutions in the 2100 block of 24th Place NE in Langdon; District Growers in the 2400 block of Evarts Street NE in Langdon; Holistic Remedies in 1800 block of Fenwick Street NE in Ivy City; Phyto Management in the 3700 block of Benning Road NE in Benning; and Venture Forth dba Center City in the 2200 block of Channing Street NE in Langdon.

One of the approved centers will be in Ward 7 but because of successful legislating by that Ward’s Councilmember, the center will not be able to stay in that location.

Thanks to the DCist for putting together a map of the locations in Ward 5.

Should residents be concerned about cultivation centers? Residents were told that security will be high and from the outside, no one should be able to tell if a building is a cultivation center.

Mohammad N. Akhter, director of the Health Department, said he and a task force evaluated dozens of bidders before selecting the six applicants. Akhter said they were chosen based on their ability to grow “quality” marijuana “in a safe environment” that includes heavy security.

I think the bigger concern for residents is the actual marijuana distribution centers. There are 17 applications for the five licenses to operate a dispensary and if residents in Ward 5 want to ensure that they truly are not the recipients of all of these dispensaries, I would suggest taking your lobbying and public angst to the next level. Decisions on the five licenses will be handed out this summer. The dispensaries should be allocated to where the residents who need medical marijuana are, not clustered in one area.

Councilmember Orange passed legislation recently that would limit the amount of cultivation centers could be in Ward 5 to six (which is odd since this was very close to the total number of licenses being handed out anyway). Perhaps Mr. Orange could limit the amount of dispensaries in Ward 5 to say….maybe one? Patients of medical marijunia live across the City and the dispensaries should reflect that. If we want to make this about the patients, as Montel Williams wanted, we should make the access of these centers easy.

Ward 5 may grow it but we don’t need to be the ones to dispense it.

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5 thoughts on “We Grow It But Let’s Not Dispense It

  1. I’d like to know where the Ward 5 Council Candidates stand on this issue. I thought I read that McDuffie has no objections to the cultivation centers and dispensaries and would like to seek community amenities from these establishments. Does any one know if this is correct and where the other candidates stand on this issue?

    When I passed by WeGrow today, I did not see any lines. Just a few people in green shirts. I think these are employees or volunteers. There weren’t even any protesters. So, I think silently Ward 5 is giving its blessing to these establishments.

  2. Are there plans to open the same number of marijuana cultivation areas and dispensaries in other Wards? In Ward 3, for example? The issue here is one of equity. If the District feels compelled to promote pot production, the burden should be shared throughout the District, in areas rich and poor, alike. We currently have no effective representation on the Council to advocate on our behalf. If this outcome has come about by forcing it upon the residents of Ward 5 because we’re too poor or powerless, it is simply wrong, and we should continue to fight it until we are heard.

  3. Having *a* dispensary in the ward wouldn’t bother me – I’m sure there are people around here who would use it – but if all the bids for dispensaries come in with W5 addresses, we need to fight that something good. We need a variety of businesses here, and dispensaries, as locations that people actually need to get to, will come at the expense of retail that will benefit the whole community, in locations where that retail could flourish (i.e., Metro- and bus-accessible locations). Like I said, *one* is fine, it would serve a segment of our community, but all or most of them is dumping this “problem” (not a problem in my mind, but in the minds of some) on a community that doesn’t “deserve better.”

    1. As a Ward 5 resident, I say this great! More business and economic activity to our area!
      I thank the council and will support it in Ward 5.

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