It was a cold and brisk night in the District on February 27, 2015 when Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the legalization of marijuana for recreational and medical use. How fitting to complement the overwhelming vote of Yes for initiative 71; it just sticks together like RAW papers.
One year later, the flowers are budding across the city and most certainly at Capital City Care, one of the premier medical marijuana dispensaries in the District. We had the opportunity for an exclusive one-on-one interview with Maishah Asante-English, Community Outreach and Marketing Coordinator early on a Thursday morning, just a few hours before any patients would arrive for care. Have you ever wondered what in the clouds does it look like at a medical marijuana dispensary in the District? Well, here it is. Enjoy our exclusive conversation with Capital City Care.
With there being so much focus on companies generating revenue in the industry the care of the patient can go unnoticed, so how are patients feeling about Capital City Care?
We have had numerous patients tell us how much they enjoy the atmosphere in the dispensary. We really try to treat patients as if they were friends or family and want everyone to feel comfortable from the moment they walk in the door. Personal attention is one of our main goals and we want each patient to feel like a VIP. They have been excited our increased supply and lower prices. They are all eager to try out the variety of new strains that have been appearing in recent months.
Do all of your patients receive a consultation?
At Capital City, we take pride in ensuring first-time patients are properly educated on the medical marijuana program here in the District and the specifics of our dispensary. Whether the patient has had experience with medical cannabis or not, all of our staff take time to walk new patients through the process, discussing details of our product and pairing patients with what may be the best option for their specific needs.
What is the maximum amount of medicinal marijuana can a patient receive on their visit at Capital City Care?
Medical marijuana patients in the District are allowed to purchase up to 2 ounces (or 56 grams) of our products, which includes flower, hash, tinctures, and oil cartridges in a 30-day period. An additional 56 grams can be purchased with physician approval as long as this purchase does not include flower.
If a patient has the allowable grams and supply is available, they are welcome to purchase the maximum allowed. Now that we have increased our quantities, we are now seeing more patients by 1/2 ounces and ounces in one visit.
If Capital City Care were a flower, what would be the name and which strain would it be an indica, sativa, or hybrid?
I would definitely vote for hybrid and think Blue Dream would be the best name pick since we are relaxed but focused. Our staff all come from a variety of backgrounds and offer a nice blend of experience with cannabis, fun personalities and sincere care for our patients.
How many jobs has Capital City Care provided?
As the District\’s medical marijuana program has expanded in 2 years, we have had to increase our staff to accommodate the growing number of patients. We started out with just two people (our owners), who did everything when we opened and now have a staff of 7.
Do your patients have to be DC residents?
Yes, the Department of Health does require that all medical marijuana patients live in the District of Columbia and provide proof of residency. We\’re always available if patients have questions about the requirements.
Did Capital City Care face any challenges opening up in the community? How long did it take to open your doors once the law was in effect?
Starting a new business in never easy, especially with the strict regulations we operate under. Fortunately, support for medical marijuana has been strong in the District for a long time now and it felt as though everyone wanted to make the program a success. The Dept. of Health, the Metropolitan Police Department and the D.C. Council all played important roles in helping make this possible.
Is there a cost associated with obtaining a medical marijuana card? If so, how much?
The application fee is $100 or $25 for low-income patients. There can be additional costs if the patient needs to see a new doctor in order to get approved. We often help patients find the best available options and we offer generous new patient specials to help make the process more affordable.
Although patients have the ability to grow, do you still find that patients still choose Capital City Care?
A number of patients are now taking advantage of the District\’s law allowing them to grow. However, those same patients continue to purchase products here at Capital City Care for a number of reasons. Some rely on the quality of the product that they have become familiar with. Others might find their own plants were not as potent as they expected. Many have told me they will continue to purchase specific products from us, such as oils, tinctures, and hash, that they are not interested in attempting on their own.
What would a gram cost on average?
Capital City Care has the best prices in the District, with no gram costing more than $20 and great selections available at $16 and $18.
Are the conditions for the use of medicinal marijuana vary from patient to patient?
Patients come in the door with a variety of conditions, from diabetes and fibromyalgia, to cancer and glaucoma. During our initial consultation with patients, we work to find the best strain to address their specific needs.
One last question before we have to go because you all have to get ready to open for patients, if people are interested in alternative medicine options can they contact Capital City Care?
Absolutely. We\’re always happy to hear from prospective patients. We\’ve helped many people navigate the application process and get their medical marijuana cared. It\’s not as difficult as it sounds, and there\’s never been a better time to do it.