After months of only being able to sell oil-based cannabis products like edibles and vape cartridges, the Richmond region’s only licensed dispensary can now sell a more traditional form of marijuana.
Green Leaf Medical (stylized gLeaf) kicked off sales of smokable marijuana, both dry whole flower (also called bud) and pre-rolled joints, at its South Richmond dispensary last week.
Adult use of smokable marijuana was legalized in Virginia in July, which paved the way for Green Leaf to expand its offerings. The company already sold its smokable marijuana in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Ohio, where it also operates.
From its 82,000-square-foot Richmond facility at 2804 Decatur St., the company now offers 18 strains of dry whole flower and pre-rolled joints for sale under its own brand. Green Leaf sells an eighth of an ounce of dry flower for $65.
Green Leaf co-founder and President Phil Goldberg said the introduction of smokable marijuana allows it to cast a wider net for local customers, both those whose ailments may respond better to the new offering and those who buy marijuana illegally.
“One strain or product may work for one person and not work for another,” Goldberg said. “It’s important we provide many routes of administration because we want to convert the customers who are buying in the illegal market into the legal market.”
Green Leaf is the sole state-approved medical cannabis processor for Health Service Area 4, which includes the Richmond region. It can only sell to registered and prescribed customers.
State law allows it to have up to five satellite retail dispensaries in the region to supplement its dispensary that operates at the same Southside facility as its Virginia-based cultivation and production operations.
Green Leaf expects to open its first satellite location in Short Pump within two to three weeks, followed by a Carytown location in 90 days, Goldberg said.
Colonial Heights is on deck for a dispensary, too. Goldberg declined to share the exact location and said talks with Colonial Heights officials regarding how cannabis fits into the locality’s retail zoning rules were still ongoing.
“We’re hoping to work with Colonial Heights and explain where we see things differently,” Goldberg said.
The company has plans for a couple more dispensaries. It has scouted the Midlothian and Ashland areas to round out its permitted dispensaries, Goldberg said.
Green Leaf was acquired by New York-based cannabis company Columbia Care in a $240 million deal that closed earlier this year. Goldberg was formerly CEO of Green Leaf.
Columbia Care holds the medical cannabis processor license for Health Service Area 5, which covers eastern Virginia.