A Potomac attorney said he’s ready to open Montgomery County’s first medical marijuana dispensary as soon as the state’s first batch of pot products is ready.
The shop, Potomac Holistics, will sell oils, tinctures and balms from a second-floor suite just off Darnestown Road in the Shady Grove medical district.
The business’ owner, William Askinazi, said his son found relief from symptoms of a chronic digestive condition by taking synthetic cannabis about 20 years ago. Askinazi has believed in the healing powers of marijuana since then.
When Maryland created its medical marijuana program, Askinazi saw it as an opportunity to combine his entrepreneurial training with his passion.
“I said, ‘Gee, we could really help a lot of people,’” he said.
At first, Askinazi says, Potomac Holistics will operate from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week except Thursday and will employ eight to 10 people. Askinazi said he’ll have a clinical pharmacologist on staff to help customers choose their product type and dosage, and all employees will need to complete an online course about medical marijuana.
The store’s interior will have a “zen feel,” with meditative music and natural wood paneling, he said. Askinazi said he bought the 2,700-square-foot suite at 14808 Physicians Lane because he heard that other dispensary owners were having trouble finding landlords willing to rent space to them.
Now that the state has awarded him the final license necessary to operate a dispensary, he’s simply waiting to stock up his store with pot products.
The first batch of medical marijuana will be released to dispensaries after independent labs test it for purity. Askinazi estimates it will be available in one to three weeks.
Once the pot products arrive, he said he can open his shop in a matter of days.
Askinazi said he’s hiring a full-time security guard and has equipped his building with video cameras and an alarm system.
The state earlier this week approved dispensary licenses for Askinazi and a business owner based in Frederick, according to The Baltimore Sun. Another Frederick business, the Wellness Institute of Maryland, was the state’s first licensed dispensary and has been taking pre-orders since July until the state’s initial round of cannabis products is available, the Sun reported.
Two dispensary locations have been announced in Silver Spring—one at the former home of Banner Glass on Fenton Street and the other around the corner from the Silver Spring Metro station.
Bethany Rodgers can be reached at email@example.com.