Ocean City Today

WOC marijuana dispensary to open Jan.

Final approval granted to first of two Worcester County outlets, with both serving patients in three-county area
By Brian Gillilnd | Dec 21, 2017
Photo by: Brian Gilliland Lyndsey Odachowsi in Positive Energy's waiting room in West Ocean City

(Dec. 22, 2017) Medical marijuana is coming to West Ocean City in about a month’s time, after the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission granted final approval to Positive Energy last week.

The dispensary, at 9939 Jerry Mack Road, is expected to fully open in late January once product is received, according to General Manager Lyndsey Odachowski.

“We’ve spent the last year bringing Positive Energy up to code, and the last thing we’re missing is cannabis. We had inspectors in here last Tuesday so we just made the deadline for approval,” Odachowski said.

Maryland’s medical marijuana structure allows for two dispensaries per state senate district. District 38, represented by Sen. Jim Mathias, encompasses Worcester, Somerset and part of Wicomico counties — though both dispensaries will be located in West Ocean City. Awaiting final approval is OC Botanicals, which will operate the Hi Tide Medical Cannabis Dispensary at 12600 Marjan Lane, off Route 611.

A major focus of Positive Energy, Odachowski said, is education.

“Cannabis isn’t what it was. People can choose how they feel at a certain point,” she said. “We know exactly what’s in the medicine, and it’s our job to make sure you know what’s in it.”

An aspect of the approval process Odachowski said she admired was the laboratory testing of products to be offered in dispensaries to ensure content and quality. A software tracking system, called METRC and in use in several states, can pinpoint a product down to the crop from which it was produced.

“Patients might want to know about the products, and might not want to make those decisions while standing at a counter,” she explained.

So Positive Energy’s front waiting area is modeled after a doctor’s office waiting room. A receptionist sits behind a counter, and chairs line the walls. A back room, where the products are stored and displayed, is closed off by a security door.

Off the waiting room is the clinical director’s office, Nurse Practitioner Vanessa Adams.

Adams, Odachowski said, knows everything the dispensary agents do about medical cannabis and more.

“She cannot write recommendations for patients to obtain medical cannabis but she is able to answer more in-depth questions that an agent may not be able to answer,” Odachowski said.

To obtain medical cannabis in Maryland, the patient must first register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission to obtain a patient identification number. A physician registered with the commission must issue a written certification for the patient, who can then take that certification to a dispensary.

To purchase medical cannabis, the patient needs government-issued identification, like a driver’s license, or a card available from the commission for $50.

At the dispensary, patients and agents can determine what products best suit their needs.

Positive Energy will offer five types of products: flowers, concentrates, tinctures, capsules and lotions/patches.

Flowers and concentrates are used for smoking or vaping, tinctures are taken orally as are capsules and lotions/patches are for topical use.

Edibles, like candies, cookies or other baked products are not legal to sell in Maryland. Odachowski said medical cannabis could be used by patients to produce their own edibles, but the process takes practice.

“There’s a product for use at night to aid sleep, and we have ones designed for daytime use,” she said.

Odachowski advocated “micro-dosing,” which is where the patient uses just enough to get the desired relief without becoming intoxicated.

“You’re opening the window just enough to get the desired effect,” she said. “We have products designed for each of the qualifying conditions laid out in state law: cancer, Parkinson’s disease, pain, headaches and others.”

Odachowski recognizes that everyone’s conditions are different, and not everyone wants to become a scholar on the subject before making an informed choice about treatment options.

“Have a goal in mind, whether it’s to sleep better, or you’re having trouble eating or having leg pain but want to remain clear headed,” she said. “We can take it from there.”

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