Green Goods, Vireo Health’s retail brand, recently opened a dispensary in Frederick, Maryland, reported Capital Gazette. The store is part of the company’s drive to make cannabis products more accessible to consumers.
Vireo, which is a national grower and wholesaler, has more than 100,000 square feet of greenhouse facilities in Maryland. The presence of Green Goods in the state is expected to help the company distribute its products better, giving patients more options to get medical marijuana.
The Hillcrest Shopping Center location in Frederick offers curbside pickups. For in-store visits, the dispensary seeks to provide a comfortable experience by carrying high-quality brands and featuring bright indoor designs.
Vireo Health director of medical education Dr. Paloma Lehfeldt is optimistic about the effects of opening Green Goods’ Maryland location. She explained that this move can make help lessen the remaining stigma surrounding marijuana in the state, which is currently still struggling with full legalization and marijuana-related criminal justice.
Maryland is one of the states that are yet to legal cannabis consumption for recreational use. Currently, it has a medical cannabis program in place, opening up its market for cannabis. It has 17 growers, 102 dispensaries, and over 125,000 medical marijuana card holders. The number is expected to grow over the years.
Compared to its neighbor states Virginia and New York, Maryland continues to lag behind in terms of marijuana policies and laws.
Regarding the role of Green Goods in combatting stigma and inequities around marijuana, Lehfeldt said, “This is something that is really important to us because cannabis crimes are lifelong convictions. They follow people throughout their entire life. They’re not able to get federal housing, student loans, all of the above.”
Green Goods advocates the reformation of the current marijuana laws, federally and statewide, as well as inclusivity in the market. To this end, the company partners up with local organizations to aid individuals convicted of marijuana-related charges to expunge their records.
To further grow the cannabis market not only in Maryland but across the United States, National Cannabis Industry Association media relations manager Morgan Fox said in an email, “Removing cannabis from the schedule of controlled substances and regulating cannabis products at the federal level would go a long way toward reducing some of the challenges facing cannabis businesses and applicants.”
Lehfeldt agrees with this suggestion. She explained that the medical field may be able to adopt marijuana as a medicinal plant if it is not listed as a Schedule I drug. Currently, medical schools do not provide enough training on the therapeutic potentials of marijuana. Only 13% of such institutions train students about marijuana’s medicinal effects.
While a federal action covers a much wider field, Fox believes that state-level changes can go a long way. He explained, “But there is much that can be done at the state and local level, including removing license caps for marijuana businesses, reducing taxes and providing resources immediately to social equity license applicants to help level the playing field.”