Medical marijuana operators reflect on industry's first 12 months in Virginia – RichmondBizSense


Green Leaf Medical is the Richmond area’s first and only medical cannabis operator. (Courtesy of Green Leaf Medical)

The Richmond area’s first and only medical cannabis operator has opened an outpost in Short Pump, the latest of several new or upcoming marijuana dispensaries popping up around the state.

Green Leaf Medical announced earlier this week the debut of its first satellite dispensary at 11190 W. Broad St., a former KFC and Long John Silver’s drive-thru location in the Shoppes of Best Buy shopping center.

It’s the latest sign of the state’s ever-evolving marijuana industry and comes about a year after the first sales of medical cannabis in Virginia.

Medical cannabis sales kicked off in October 2020 with the opening of Dharma Pharmaceuticals’ dispensary and growing facility in Bristol. The other three state-licensed cannabis pharmaceutical processors followed suit with the opening of their own dispensary-and-growing facilities later that year, including Green Leaf’s sprawling 125-employee facility on Richmond’s Southside.

A year in, Green Leaf and the other state-licensed cannabis operators still have plenty of room to grow their brick-and-mortar footprints. As they map out their dispensaries, the operators look toward the future recreational marijuana market.

A budding industry

The fledgling medical sales side of the industry has experienced steady volume in Virginia thus far, but still has a ways to grow.

Phil Goldberg

Green Leaf President Phil Goldberg said the state’s patient base has been slow to develop, something he attributed to restrictions on advertising imposed on medical cannabis operators such as a ban on billboard displays.

There

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