by Sarah Nove ‘20
Olney soon will be home to Sweetspot, a medical marijuana dispensary scheduled to open this month. In an interview with two of Sweetspot’s employees, Kevin Fox, Inventory Manager, and Peter Franklin, Dispensary Manager, the pair emphasized the staff’s focus on legitimacy and safety.
In accordance with state laws, no edibles will be distributed. Additionally, the dispensary will only sell to individuals with a Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) patient identification card and, for minors, accompanied by a caregiver. The state of Maryland defines a caregiver as “an individual 21 years old or older designated by a patient who has agreed to assist with a qualifying patient’s medical use of medical cannabis” or, if the patient is a minor, a parent or legal guardian. Adults without an MMCC card will be allowed to enter the community area of the store, but only card-holders will be allowed onto the retail floor. Minors without a both a MMCC card and a caregiver present will not be allowed inside the storefront.
The dispensary is in its final stages of construction in The Olney Center off of Georgia Avenue, in the space that previously housed Armand’s Pizzeria. The interior of the building features a large glass window through which customers can watch the production process. However, not all of the production happens in-house; marijuana must first go through a testing process in a lab to ensure the safety and high quality of the goods prior to distribution.
“Everything goes through analytical testing for pesticides, heavy metals––basically a breakdown of its potency,” explained Fox. “It’s [a] very in-depth [process] prior to even coming to market so nothing even has the chance of being tainted or moldy.”
In addition to quality and transparency, Fox and Franklin hope that Sweetspot’s presence in Olney will neutralize the stigmas and misinformation surrounding marijuana consumption for medical purposes.
“Our main goal is not … [to] sell as much as possible; we want to educate the community, we want to help out as much as we can, we want to be a part of this community,” said Franklin.
According to Fox, they have been “welcomed with open arms” by the community so far, with friendly responses from neighboring business, like the local sign shop, Signs One Hour, who helped them paint a sign on their storefront. Fox and Franklin hope that the community will see Sweetspot as a business like any other, rather than something taboo.
“Just bluntly put, we’re here for safe access to medical patients that need to access their medicine for relieving their pain. Basically, we want people to know that this is a professional establishment,” said Fox. “We’re here for the community, and we’re very excited to open and help provide [medicine] to people in need [of it].”