Bongs Away: Medical Cannabis Joint Opens as Legislators Consider Giving Docs More Prescribing Leeway

Patients can select their own products using the iPad station at Fresh Cannabis, a medical marijuana dispensary, which opened last week in Newark

A new medical marijuana dispensary has opened its doors in Newark, with operators promising “educated, sensitive and compassionate care” to customers seeking relief via “freshly curated medical cannabis” be it bud, gummies, oils or lotion.

Fresh Cannabis, AKA, “Fresh Delaware,” is not-so-quietly undergoing what they call a “soft opening” during which time they will only be open for business Wednesday through Saturday. 

A digital ordering system allows patients to come in and view available products that day and select the ones that best suit their conditions and symptoms.

But Fresh Cannabis/Compassionate Care Research Institute Executive VP Aaron Epstein says choosing your own product is just one part of the business. “We have a comprehensive patient education program, which includes multiple on-site counselors who work with the patients about choosing the best strain to treat their condition and  also talk to patients about safe methods of consumption,” he said.

The new dispensary on Ogletown Road is the fourth of its kind in Delaware, the product of a grass-roots push for legalized medical marijuana that culminated in the passage of a 2011 law permitting the sale of ganja with a doctor’s prescription.

“Delaware has an incredible amount of resources when it comes to knowledgeable people who can grow stuff. You have people who specialize in plant sciences, and UD researchers are just down the road. So there’s just a lot of talent available here in the state,” said Epstein.

The state’s Office of Medical Marijuana in the Division of Public Health says nearly 7,000 Delaware residents hold medical marijuana cards and that applications for the card number in the hundreds every month.

Without getting into the weeds, strains including Indica, Sativa, Hybrid, and CBD will be grown and cultivated on site at the former site of Alexander’s Lawn and Garden, which includes a greenhouse and comfortable waiting area.

Items for sale at Fresh Cannabis

Fresh Delaware’s unveiling comes as legislators consider giving physicians more latitude in prescribing marijuana for a broader range of afflictions beyond just ‘debilitating medical conditions.’ The legislation, SB 24, would amend the state’s medical marijuana law to allow doctors to expand use of the drug for “any other medical condition or its treatment identified in a physician’s written certification for which the medical use of medical marijuana is likely to provide a therapeutic or palliative benefit.”

Potential for the new shop – whose license is held by Compassionate Care Research Institute/Foundation out of New Jersey – seems strong, should the legislation go into law.


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