A cannabis dispensary is planned in Midlothian. Here is where. | Local business news

Chesterfield County’s first cannabis dispensary could open as early as November, marking the latest expansion to Green Leaf Medical of Virginia growing network in the Richmond area.

Only patients with written certification from a registered medical cannabis practitioner — and government-issued identification — can purchase Green Leaf products since recreational use remains illegal statewide.

Located across from the Chesterfield Towne Center at 11601 Midlothian Turnpike, the 2,200 square foot space is Green Leaf’s fifth of six planned locations that the Virginia Pharmacy Board allowed the medical cannabis supplier to acquire.

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One is its home base in Manchester, home to 82,000 square feet of Green Leaf’s manufacturing and home delivery services operations. The storefront saw over 2,000 people pass through its doors during opening week at the end of 2020.

Another is stationed at Short Pump. A third is set to open Oct. 1 in the former Need Supply Co. space in Carytown. The fourth will take over an old Burger King in Colonial Heights on I-95.

“We looked for locations that would provide the best access to our current patients and what we believe will be our future patients. Those who haven’t signed up yet,” said Phil Goldberg, co-founder and CEO of Green Leaf. “We wanted to be positioned in easily accessible areas.

The final location of Green Leaf is yet to be determined, Goldberg said, but locations near Montrose or like Scott’s Addition and Ashland have been considered.

He acknowledged that the process of acquiring a medical cannabis retail outlet has improved in the eight years since Green Leaf has been operational.

Landlords must approve use of the space and sometimes, even if they do, the mortgage document might state that it prohibits renting to a medical cannabis company, Goldberg said. Local zoning ordinances can also make operation difficult, a problem Green Leaf has encountered in Maryland where, like in Virginia, cannabis is only legal for medical use.

In March, House Republicans came under fire from Democratic leaders after killing legislation that would have accelerated the legal sale of recreational marijuana.


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At the time, House Speaker Todd Gilbert, R-Shenandoah, chastised Democrats for leaving behind a ‘big big mess’ when they couldn’t reach an agreement on how to structure the legal market in 2021 — when Democrats controlled the House, Senate, and governor’s office.

A recent change, however, came into effect July 1 with HB 933, which removed the requirement for patients to register with the Board of Pharmacy.







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In this image from September, marijuana plants grow in the clone room of Green Leaf Medical, a new medical marijuana dispensary selling a variety of cannabis products in Richmond.


BOB BROWN/TIMES-DISPATCH



Goldberg expects more changes to take place the more educated people are about medical cannabis, and said Green Leaf has invited pastors, police officers, firefighters and community members to explore its facilities.

“It’s a common thread that runs through all the tours, it’s ‘Wow, I didn’t expect that,'” Goldberg said. “I didn’t expect everyone to be in overalls, with hair nets, gloves and slippers. I did not expect all these safety protocols for the factories and for the employees. So I think we slowly change our minds over time.