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Medical marijuana off to slow start in D.C.; dispensaries note hassles
The city has worked cautiously to develop its regulations — among the strictest in the country — to guide an industry still considered illegal by the federal government. D.C. voters supported a medical marijuana program in 1998, only to have it held up by a congressional rider known as the Barr Amendment until 2009.
“We are not far from the attorney general’s office and other offices, and we want to make sure we are running an airtight program,” he said. “The continuity of the program is much more important for us. We want to make sure the program is sustainable and has a future.”
Four medical marijuana dispensaries and six cultivation centers were given approval to operate in the District, but not all have been able to open for business. Given the dearth of patients, there doesn’t seem to be a big hurry.
“All medical marijuana businesses are operating at a loss,” said David Guard, of Capital City Care dispensary which operates in Northeast.
Bob Simmons, of the cultivation center Alternative Solutions, said he fears for the future of the program as a result of the slow business.
“So far, all we have been doing is bleeding cash,” he said.
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About the Author
Andrea Noble is a crime and public safety reporter for The Washington Times. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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