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Ground Up

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HerbaFi latest shop to open in Maryland’s growing medical pot industry

Herbafi in downtwon Silver Spring is set to celebrate its grand opening on Saturday. (Photo Courtesy Coakley Realty)

HerbaFi in downtown Silver Spring is set to celebrate its grand opening Saturday. (Photo Courtesy Coakley Realty)

Family-owned medical marijuana dispensary HerbaFi is the latest to open in Maryland as the industry adds demand for retail and industrial space following a slow roll-out of medical cannabis in the state.

The dispensary, located at 8413 Ramsey Ave. in downtown Silver Spring and adjacent the Metro station, celebrates its grand opening on Saturday. HerbaFi will be open seven days a week between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.

“We chose this building because it is one of the best locations in all of Maryland for a medical cannabis dispensary,” HerbaFi’s founder Zeina Frayha said in a statement. “Having direct access to the metro station provides our customers with invaluable convenience during a difficult time.”

Rockville-based Coakley Realty represented the landlord in negotiating the lease, and Jeff Kirks of REL represented HerbaFi.

“Over the last decade, Downtown Silver Spring has seen explosive growth and we are honored to support the development,” Rory Coakley, president of Coakley Realty, said in a statement.

Maryland’s six-year-old medical marijuana industry, including licensed dispensaries, processors and growers, is expected to add an influx of new users into the state’s commercial real estate market.

By last August, according to JLL’s research team’s latest available report on the industry, medical marijuana firms already accounted for 16 percent of industrial absorption in the Baltimore metro area and suburban Washington. Those firms were taking mostly Class B and C warehouse buildings with ceilings under 20 feet high.

At that time — the commission had only approved the first dispensary location in Frederick County — JLL found only 42 percent of the approved dispensary licenses had found locations.

“JLL has tracked that only 39 out of the 92 pre-approved dispensary licenses have landed, suggesting additional friction over the coming months as dispensaries identify and lease locations,” according to the report.

But following a legal challenge because no minority-owned firms were awarded growers licenses, the General Assembly passed a bill earlier this year, which Gov. Larry Hogan subsequently signed, increasing the number of grower’s licenses in the state to as many as 22. The number of processing licenses was also increased from 15 to 28.

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