WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va– The first medical cannabis facility in the area has plans to move from Bristol, Virginia to property in Abingdon.
The Washington County Board of Supervisors approved the request at a meeting on Tuesday, July 28th.
Dharma Pharmaceuticals said they are relocating from the old Bristol Mall, to a new spot on Watauga Road in Washington County, Virginia.
“It’s in a great location, it’s on 20 acres so there’s plenty of room for expansion, and we’re not co-located with any other business. We’re the only business there,” said Dharma’s Chief Operating Officer, Jack Page.
Page said their lease at the Bristol Mall was up in June, and since then the company has been searching all over the area for a new location.
“We suspected when we moved in here that we would be leaving, so everything that we’ve done is as mobile as we can make it,” he said.
Residents who live near the potential new facility on Watauga Road are divided.
Amber Wilkinson, who has property adjacent, said she is concerned for the safety of her children.
“You bring people from Lee county, Grayson county, all these other places into our small county for something like this…it’s not worth it, especially in a residential area,” she said.
Wilkinson said she is also concerned about the traffic it will bring to the road, and the signage that Dharma plans to put up near the building.
Another neighbor, Nikki Shell said she is excited about Dharma’s plans to relocate.
“I’ve got a lot of health problems,” she said. “I’ve got arthritis and things like that, and my doctors have told me, ‘If it comes around to where you can get it medically and legally would you want to do that?’ “I’m all for it.”
Shell said the traffic on the road is already busy from the landfill, so she doesn’t think Dharma’s facility will impact it that much.
Jack Page said as far as security goes, they have thought of everything, and plan to make the building as secure as possible.
“Our security team is made up of around 40 former ATF, DEA, secret service agents, so they will develop a security plan for us for the new facility,” said Page.
Dharma will continue their medical marijuana operations at the Bristol Mall until the new location passes inspections by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy.
They plan to start dispensing products from the mall in the next 30 days.
In order to enter the building, patients will have to receive approval by a certified provider and then register through the Commonwealth of Virginia in order to be issued a card.
The card enables patients to legally buy, carry and consume regulated, medical-grade cannabis products purchased from Dharma.
To find out more information on how to become a patient, click here.
News 5 WCYB by Kristen Quon | Wednesday, July 29th 2020