Hampton Roads’ first medical marijuana dispensary officially opens in Portsmouth

Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton Roads’ first medical marijuana dispensary officially opened in a soft debut in Portsmouth Tuesday.

Columbia Care dispensary is located on Seaboard Court in Portsmouth. Just those who had registered for the company’s email list were notified, but if you have the proper credentials the doors are open for your business.

Don’t bother buying rolling paper or a pipe, anything made in the facility must originate with the plant’s oils and for now, the selection is limited. Production is still underway at the plant, but for now, Columbia Care is selling products it purchased from a Richmond, Virginia dispensary.

(Photo courtesy: Columbia Care)

“We are starting with wholesale from gLeaf on six different vape cartridges. We are in the process now of getting ready to perform chemical extractions and manufacturing. So were are talking about lozenges, capsules, tablets, tinctures, other forms of concentrates and other vape options as well,” said Raymond Hernandez, Columbia Care’s Doctor of Pharmacy.

Ray Hernandez, Doctor of Pharmacy
(Photo: Regina Mobley/WAVY)

On day one, 40 patients showed up for the limited selection, but there were few complaints. Because of the new location, patients in Hampton Roads seeking treatment for pain and other disorders no longer have to hit the road to get a hit of medicinal marijuana.

“I broke my leg in 2019 and I take a lot of medication for that. Every day I have to take pills. I will be real happy to not have to take them any more,” said Sony Dobson from Chesapeake.

One of the first to arrive on day two was Sean Presley of Portsmouth. Presley, a cancer survivor, uses medicinal marijuana to relieve pain and anxiety.

Cancer survivor Sean Presley
(Photo: Regina Mobley/WAVY)

He gleefully explained how oil is delivered to his lungs with a vaping device that resembles an ink pen. “I put that little gram of oil inside; I hook it on to this and the electricity will allow me to inhale what’s inside of this capsule,” said Presley. Presley says the oil allows him to reduce or eliminate the use of potentially dangerous prescription drugs.

Prices may vary, but one ounce of CBD oil marketed on the company’s website sells for about $80.

Also, they only take cash.

According to the company’s website, the dispensary opened Tuesday morning. Going forward, it will be open Monday through Saturday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Seaboard Court dispensary is a no-appointment-needed facility but there’s plenty of homework to do before you arrive. There’s no entry without a Virginia Medical Registration card.

“To get that, you would first have to consult with a physician or practitioner that’s registered with the Virginia Board of Pharmacy to issue those certificates which are generally good for a year. Send a copy of your certificate and copy of your driver’s license to the Virginia Board of Pharmacy; then you would get your registration card,” dispensary pharmacist Ray Hernandez told 10 On Your Side.

Hernandez adds the Virginia NORML website has a good layout of step-by-step instructions and the website can also help you find a doctor close to where you live who is already registered to help you with cannabis consults.

The grand opening, which will include a wide variety of products, is expected to take place in 6 to 8 weeks.

RELATED: Virginia lawmakers could make it harder to be charged with marijuana possession

RELATED: New marijuana laws take effect July 1 in Virginia

Virginia is one of 47 states with some form of legalized medicinal marijuana which has been prescribed for a number of illnesses and disorders.

The state’s first of four medical cannabis facilities opened in Bristol, Virginia, back in October.


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