BRISTOL, Va. (PRNewswire)–The first medical cannabis dispensary in Virginia opened its doors in Bristol on October 17. Dharma Pharmaceuticals is currently one of four licensed medical cannabis companies in the state. The opening has been a long time coming.
In 2017, Virginia approved a regulatory program for the in-state production of extraction-based medical cannabis products by five providers who will grow, extract, dispense and deliver the products. These licensed providers are called “pharmaceutical processors,” and are vertically-integrated. As of July 1, 2020, cardholders have had explicit legal protection for possessing medical cannabis products. But they haven’t been able to buy products until now.
Although Dharma Pharmaceuticals was the last medical company to go live in Virginia, it’s the first to actually sell cannabis to patients. “We’re eager to provide a new treatment option to Virginia patients and also provide jobs and economic growth within our community,” says Dharma Pharmaceuticals Co-Founder and CEO, Shanna Berry. “This has been a long process to build out a facility, grow cannabis plants from seed, process and extract the cannabis oils, and finally have product ready for patients. As a lifelong resident of Southwest Virginia, I’m thrilled to bring this life-changing medicine to our state and provide much needed jobs in our community.” Berry has waited ten years for the climate in Virginia to shift to allow for medical cannabis and the start of Dharma Pharmaceuticals.
Berry is joined by Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Jack L. Page and Co-Founder and Chief Pharmacy Officer, Michael Johnson. Johnson, who has 27 years of Virginia pharmacy experience, is thrilled to finally serve patients, saying “Each patient seeking medical cannabis is unique, and I look forward to cultivating relationships with them to develop treatment plans customized for their individual needs.” Page says, “Dharma Pharmaceuticals is truly a homegrown effort led by local business professionals with a passion for our community and helping patients gain access to medical cannabis. We are the first to produce and sell medical cannabis to Virginians thanks to every member of our team.”
Merida Capital Partners is the largest investor in Dharma Pharmaceuticals. Members of the Merida team have secured cultivation, processing and dispensary licenses in highly regulated U.S. states including Connecticut, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Maryland and West Virginia.
Dharma Pharmaceuticals is currently located in the Bristol Mall at 500 Gate City Hwy, Suite 460, Bristol, VA.