A third Delaware medical marijuana dispensary was planned to go in Milford, but Smyrna has a bigger population, so the dispensary now plans to open there. Columbia Care will operate the dispensary. A lease has already been finalized for the dispensary’s location.
News of the location change was leaked by a patient advocacy group, according to Delaware Online. Columbia Care has dispensaries in seven other states. The new Kent County location will be the first in the county. Kent County was the only county left in Delaware that didn’t have a dispensary.
John Gilbert, director for Columbia Care, said, “It’s true that we recently finalized a lease on that location. We think Smyrna is closer to a larger population base of patients and we’re very excited to be there.”
It is speculated that about 500 people qualify for medical marijuana in Kent County. Delaware had 3,588 medical marijuana patients as of July 1, so the qualifying population in Kent County represents 14.5-percent of the state’s entire patient base.
Plans had to change when zoning issues came about in Milford. A grow and a dispensary were both planned for Milford.
CEO Nicholas Vita said, “That had been our plan but we encountered a zoning issue with the dispensary. Our manufacturing facility will still be in Milford, but the retail site will be in Smyrna.”
Kim Petters, an Air Force veteran with PTSD, said, “Getting another dispensary is going to be great. And Smyrna is definitely better than Milford. But honestly, I was hoping for a more central location in Dover because it’s still going to a be a bit of a drive for a good portion of the people in Kent County.”
An opening date for the new Smyrna dispensary has not been provided yet.