Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Silver Spring Invites Public in for a Look

Owners say Fenton Street store could begin selling product in coming week


Published:

Bethany Rodgers

Bethesda resident Denise Dougherty said entering a medical marijuana dispensary in California felt a little “like you’re sneaking into a speakeasy.”

“I could hardly find a door,” said the 70-year-old woman, who suffers from chronic pain.

According to Dougherty, the vibe was decidedly different Tuesday when she walked into the sunny lobby of RISE Silver Spring, a new medical marijuana outlet at 7900 Fenton St.

The business invited the media, prospective patients and curious members of the public in for a ribbon cutting and a tour of the building, which was once home to Banner Glass. Andy Grossman, a partner in the company that owns RISE, said the business opened its doors to dispel stereotypes and concerns about dispensaries.

“This is not a pot shop. This is a medical facility,” said Grossman of Green Thumb Industries.

Former Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Eugene Monroe, a medical marijuana advocate and GTI partner, helped show people around the building during the open house.

“It’s warm and welcoming, and it will let you feel comfortable bringing anyone here,” he said.

Monroe, who played seven seasons with the Ravens and the Jacksonville Jaguars, said that at one time, he relied on heavy-duty painkillers to cope with of the aftermath of surgeries and football injuries. Since he began regularly using medical cannabis, he’s been able to stop taking the dangerous medication, he said.

In recent years, he’s “been on a warpath for helping people,” said Monroe.

However, the state’s medical marijuana program has been slow to get off the ground since enabling legislation passed in 2014. Now, RISE and other Maryland dispensaries, including one near the city of Rockville, are waiting for the release of the first batch of medical cannabis products.

Tuesday’s event drew dozens of people, some of whom filled out registration forms so they could buy medical cannabis once it’s available. Grossman said the store is ready to open after the first product shipment arrives, possibly within the next week.

GTI is licensed to sell medical marijuana in Illinois, Nevada, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. The Silver Spring location is the company’s first Maryland dispensary, he said.

Ten to 15 staff members will work full-time at the dispensary.

Grossman said the business has solicited input from the Montgomery County police on securing the building and has installed an alarm system and indoor and outdoor cameras. A locked door stands between the lobby and the area stocked with medical marijuana. Customers are admitted into the back by a staff member.

The store will offer an assortment of oils, concentrates, pills, transdermal patches, tinctures and flowers, he added.

After her visit Tuesday, Dougherty said she’s considering medical marijuana as a potential treatment for some of her pain.

“I’m taking opioids for pain, and I would like not to do that,” she said.

The retail area of RISE Silver Spring filled with people for Monday's open house.

Denise Dougherty holding up her California medical marijuana card and a RISE customer station.

The retail area of RISE Silver Spring.

The door between the service area at RISE Silver Spring and the entryway is locked, and only staff members can grant access.

Photo credit: Bethany Rodgers

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at bethany.rodgers@bethesdamagazine.com.

Back to Bethesda Beat

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Police Reviewing Officers’ Actions As Family Seeks Answers About Bethesda Teenager’s Death

The state’s medical examiner on Friday ruled that Navid Sepehri’s death was accidental

School Notes: Walt Whitman High Holds ‘Whitman Strong’ Day in Wake of Losses

Plus: Hogan again rebuffs school board’s request for calendar wiggle room

Medical Marijuana Dispensary To Open in Downtown Bethesda

Property representative says space is being outfitted for the shop

Police: Family Dispute Preceded Apparent Murder-Suicide in Silver Spring

Son allegedly shot mother and himself in her apartment in complex for senior citizens
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »

New Arts and Crafts Home

Bethesda, $1,499,000

2.5 Stunning Acres

Potomac, $925,000

Renovated Row House on Tree Lined Street

Washington, DC, $1,299,000

New Home Community

Bethesda, $1,350,000

Truly Sensational Property

Potomac, $3,799,900
Edit Module

Profiles

Your Guides to Leading
Local Professionals

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit Module