Around Town

Medical cannabis dispensary, Fairfax County’s first, opens today on Route 1

Beyond/Hello is opening a new medical cannabis dispensary along Richmond Highway (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

Fairfax County’s first medical cannabis dispensary is opening today (Wednesday) in Huntington.

Beyond/Hello will begin serving patients at 10 a.m. at 5902 Richmond Highway. The company obtained needed approvals from the Virginia Board of Pharmacy and is opening within its expected time frame.

There will be an official ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by local lawmakers on Aug. 4, a company spokesperson told FFXnow.

It will be the first medical cannabis dispensary in the county, though Beyond/Hello already has two Northern Virginia locations in Manassas and Sterling.

The company will also open a store in Fairfax City at 10521 Fairfax Blvd, likely in September. Another one in Arlington is due later this year, and there are plans for a Woodbridge dispensary in 2023.

Beyond/Hello is owned by Flordia-based Jushi and is one of four companies currently permitted to sell cannabis in Virginia. The company is legally allowed to operate six dispensaries in Northern Virginia.

The Huntington dispensary moved into the former home of Great American Steak & Buffet Company, which appears to have closed in 2020. The store is 9,600 square feet and has more than 50 parking spots.

It’s also just south of Alexandria, as Jushi CEO Jim Cacioppo highlighted in a press release:

We’re thrilled to open up our new dispensary in Alexandria — a town famous for its nationally recognized landmarks, rich history, vibrant arts, pristine waterfront and charming restaurants and boutiques. Beyond Hello Alexandria captures the best of our thinking and combines our digital and physical retail experiences with the flexibility and convenience of our express checkout services. In addition, Beyond Hello Alexandria is strategically positioned near the ‘Beltway’ with easy highway access, and is conveniently located within a 15-minute drive to approximately 400,000 people.

While retail sales of cannabis remain illegal in Virginia, the medical cannabis industry is expected to explode in the coming months after a new state law went into effect July 1, removing the need for patients to register with the Commonwealth. Now, patients just need a certification from a licensed medical practitioner to make a purchase.

Already, Beyond/Hello officials say they are seeing a significant increase in patient sign-ups in July compared to last month.

“Since the patient registration process requirement has been removed, the Company has seen a 2.3x increase in patient sign-ups in the first three weeks of July as compared to the entire month of June,” the press release said.