First medical marijuana dispensary in tri-county area could open soon

Southern Maryland Relief, the first and only licensed medical marijuana dispensary in the tri-county area, plans to open as soon as this week, to many eagerly awaiting customers.

The company had a soft opening Sunday and invited about 10 percent of its 500-person waiting list to purchase products between noon and 3 p.m. The grand opening was originally slated for Thursday, but got pushed back a day.

The 50 people who were invited to Sunday’s opening were people who are “really, really sick,” said Charlie Mattingly of Abell, co-owner of the dispensary.

“We are going to take care of everybody,” he said, noting that the store wanted to give access to those who are suffering pain from cancer treatment or chronic conditions first.

During Sunday’s opening, Mattingly said the dispensary had some technical problems when the software system crashed and his staff had to manually write everything down.

Still, in less than three hours, the dispensary sold about 75 percent of its entire stock. With two more big orders coming in, Mattingly said his store is prepared for the full opening day.

The company, located in Mechanicsville, is one of the 10 licensed dispensaries in the state and gets its products from Curio Cultivation, a licensed grower in Baltimore County and the only grower that has products on the market, according to Mattingly.

In the next couple of weeks, three other growers are expected to have medical cannabis products available, he said.

The dispensary took Monday off to fix some of its technical problems and invited another 30 people from its waiting list to a second soft opening Tuesday.

“The phone rings 100 times a day. It’s ringing non-stop,” Mattingly said.

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