The cat is out of the bag on the location of Silver Spring’s future medical marijuana shop.
Representatives of Green Thumb Industries, the company that has secured a state license to establish a shop in Silver Spring, confirmed Wednesday that they’re moving into the former home of Banner Glass at 7900 Fenton St.
A spokeswoman for the Chicago-based company said GTI will have to remodel the building’s interior to suit its needs, but hopes to open for business later this year.
The store, formerly owned by 7900 Fenton Street LLC, faces a line of homes across the street. Fenton Street Urban Park sits just across nearby Richmond Avenue, and a hair salon is located next door.
“It’ll bring a lot of excitement, for sure,” salon owner Shelton Williams said Wednesday of the dispensary.
Williams said he’s spotted people with clipboards hanging around the former home of Banner Glass, which shut its doors about a year ago. He had no notion that the site was being considered for a medical marijuana dispensary.
But he added that he’s not opposed to the arrival of the business “as long as security is fine and people get their package and leave.”
Earlier this year, former Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Eugene Monroe spoke in support of bringing the medical cannabis outlet to the community. Monroe, a GTI investor, said he became convinced of marijuana’s medicinal properties after starting to use it for chronic pain from football injuries. Monroe said he preferred the substance as an alternative to more heavy-duty painkillers.
Monroe teamed up with GTI CEO Pete Kadens to lead the community meeting at the Silver Spring Civic Center in February. While they offered information about the future store’s products and security measures, Kadens kept the shop’s exact location under wraps because lease negotiations were ongoing.
GTI spokeswoman Sarah Mejia said the company ultimately decided that buying a space fit their business plan better than renting.
The state licensed GTI and one other company to sell medical marijuana in the legislative district that covers Takoma Park, downtown Silver Spring and the neighborhoods of Four Corners and White Oak.
Maryland’s medical marijuana program was first approved in 2013, and its supervising commission late last year awarded 102 preliminary licenses to companies planning to operate dispensaries. The companies are now going through the second stage of the process, securing local zoning approval and passing criminal background checks, before they receive their final licenses.
Kadens has said the Silver Spring store will sell marijuana buds and oils, topical creams, capsules, tinctures and pills containing the substance. GTI estimates that 60 to 150 patients will visit the store each day.
Under state law, medical marijuana is available to a patient or caregiver older than 21 who has written permission from a certified Maryland physician. The substance can be prescribed for diseases such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis.
The sale of 7900 Fenton St. was first reported by Montgomery Newsletter, a subscription-only online bulletin focused on real estate and development.