While most of us think of courthouses and upstanding businesses when it comes to the neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights, that perception may change as Columbia Care has opened its very first medical marijuana dispensary in the borough this past Saturday — on 4/20, of course! Already a huge success in Manhattan, the dispensary is hoping to bring the same results across the river. Metro was recently invited to take a walk through of its elegant new location on Court Street. The store has a different look and feel than what many might expect in that it feels very akin to a medical facility mixed with a hip sense of fashion that is warm and welcoming.
Since getting the green light to open its doors in the neighborhood, we decided to ask Nick Vita, vice chairman and CEO of Columbia Care, a few questions on what people can expect and what steps people will need to take in order to purchase medical marijuana from the brand-new facility.
Walk us through the process of purchasing medical marijuana from Columbia Care. What will people need to have with them when they walk through the door?
While the steps to purchase medical cannabis vary by state, all states require a physician’s certification to apply for a state-issued medical cannabis card. To purchase medical cannabis, you must present this card to your dispensary. In New York, our new medical cannabis dispensary in Brooklyn is a 7,000-square-foot facility that was designed to feel like a comfortable modern apothecary, meeting a wide variety of health and wellness needs. At the dispensary, we offer both medical cannabis, for which patients need their state-issued medical cannabis card, as well as hemp-derived health and wellness CBD products. We invite anyone in the community to come to our facility to explore the CBD options as well as to learn more about the benefits of medical cannabis from a certified pharmacist who can guide all of our visitors through a personalized experience.
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What were some of the biggest struggles you faced opening a medical marijuana dispensary in Brooklyn?
Our goal for this facility was to reflect the spirit of the surrounding Brooklyn neighborhood. Part of the site at 44 Court St. is a landmark building dating back to the 1800s. As we were planning the renovations, there were some regulations in place due to the building’s landmark status that were specific to this building which required us to adjust. Out of respect for the building and community, we incorporated some of the elements into our design aesthetic, such as exposed brick walls and the large window exterior. We are proud of how the dispensary reflects the history of the area, while giving it a modern feel that is welcoming to all.
What kinds of medical marijuana products will be available at this new dispensary?
At Columbia Care, we are continuously using real patient feedback to optimize our approach and develop new products. We consider our new Brooklyn space the embodiment of our personalized, patient-centric approach. To meet all patients’ needs, we offer our portfolio of proprietary, pharmaceutical-quality, full-spectrum cannabis-based medicines for patients with state-issued medical cannabis cards. Our offerings include tinctures, vapor oil, tablets, suppositories and lotions. We have a pharmacist on-site at all times to work with patients to understand their specific medical needs and recommend an optimal treatment plan consisting of a precisely formulated product and dose.
In addition to medical cannabis, we also offer an assortment of high-quality hemp-derived CBD wellness products available for sale to the public. The products range from oils to lotions and all come from a variety of trusted partners. Knowing that CBD quality can range from product to product, we separately test all of the products sold at our facilities to ensure the products are safe and accurately labeled.
If there was something you could say to someone who may be hesitant to welcome a medical marijuana dispensary into their neighborhood, what would it be?
Our mission at Columbia Care is to improve people’s lives through product innovation, research and patient experience, and this is a mission we take very seriously. We currently serve more than 26,000 patients across New York state, so have seen firsthand the therapeutic benefits that our unique, high-quality products can have for patients across the state who are suffering from a range of conditions. We want the residents of Brooklyn to know that our goal is to serve the community by providing a comfortable, welcoming space where patients can learn about the benefits of medical cannabis for their health and wellness needs. We are committed to setting the standard for compassion, professionalism, quality care and innovation for this rapidly growing new industry and work toward this goal every day.