From the outside, the building is nondescript, your typical medical office nestled near an acupuncturist, a doctor’s office and steps from a CVS pharmacy.
From the inside, however, Bill Askinazi says he is watching medical miracles.
An example: The 35-year-old man, toes on both feet pointed inward, hobbling in on crutches. He’d been suffering muscle spasticity so long that his hands were knots, clenched tight.
A few days later, he returned, having received his first dose of medical marijuana. One hand was unclenched fully, the other partially. He walked in without crutches, on his own two feet.
“It was unbelievable,” said Askinazi, principal of Potomac Holistics, one of the state’s 22 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries.
Pay attention, Ohio: This may be you in a few months.
Maryland legalized medical marijuana in 2014, and now the state is seeing the results, with dispensaries around the state slowly opening. Ohio in 2016 took that same leap and hopes to have its program fully functioning by September 2018.
If Ohio’s launch mirrors the one in Maryland, the dispensaries will encounter some hurdles other businesses wouldn’t mind having: demand that exceeds supply and a customer base willing to drive as much as 50 miles for the product.
Since Potomac Holistics opened on Dec. 1, they’ve seen steady traffic. Those who receive “recommendations” for medical marijuana — federal law bars doctors from technically prescribing the drug — are buzzed in from outside, signing in with a guard and waiting in a warm, inviting and locked waiting room before being given their dose and being sent on their way.
There are reminders showing some of the uniqueness