A medical marijuana dispensary that would be located above a Popeye’s on Barracks Row was approved by a Ward 6 ANC this week.
Photo by tedeytan.
Two of the four medical marijuana dispensaries that have been pre-approved by D.C. were given the green light by ANCs this week without much of the usual controversy or fanfare that has come along with the city’s nascent medical marijuana program.
On Tuesday ANC 6B voted 9-0 to approve the Metropolitan Wellness Center’s application for a dispensary in the heart of Barracks Row, while yesterday ANC 2B voted 7-0 in favor of the Herbal Alternatives dispensary in a West End office building. If granted licenses, the dispensaries will be able to sell up to two ounces of medical marijuana a month to qualifying patients or their caregivers.
Two other ANCs where dispensaries have applied to locate-one in Ward 4, the other in Ward 5-have until the end of the month to forward their comments to the Department of Health before any final determinations are made on licenses.
The Ward 5 dispensary, located along North Capitol Street in Truxton Circle, has already provoked community opposition-earlier this month the Bates Area Civic Association passed a resolution opposing the dispensary, saying that the area around it is already saturated with social service agencies and regularly sees crime. A proposed dispensary in Takoma has similarly drawn concerns.
Both ANC 5C and ANC 4B will meet toward the end of the month to consider those applications.
Under the rules of the city’s medical marijuana program, ANCs can’t derail a proposed dispensary, but their comments on whether it would have an adverse impact on the community, whether there’s over-concentration of medical marijuana facilities in their area and how close it might be to substance abuse centers and halfway houses can account for an additional 50 points for an applicant. The rules allow five dispensaries in the city; only four of 17 applications made it past a six-person city panel charged with reviewing applications before forwarding them to affected ANCs.
During the application process for cultivation centers, residents in Ward 5 complained that the facilities were largely clustered there. Hopeful cultivators said that they had little choice-the rules limited them to sites zoned for industrial use, the majority of which are in Ward 5. In late March, the Department of Health approved six cultivation centers-five in Ward 5-for licenses.
View Medical Marijuana Dispensaries in a larger map