D.C.

weGrow opening in Washington on Friday

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(AP, WJLA) - A company dubbed the "Walmart of Weed" is putting down roots in America's capital city, sprouting further debate on marijuana - medical or otherwise.

(Photo: Associated Press)

Just a few miles from the White House and federal buildings, a company that candidly caters to medical marijuana growers is opening up its first outlet on the East Coast. The opening of the weGrow store on Friday in Washington coincides with the first concrete step in implementing a city law allowing residents with certain medical conditions to purchase pot.

Like suppliers of picks and axes during the gold rush, weGrow sees itself providing the necessary tools to pioneers of a "green rush," which some project could reach nearly $9 billion within the next five years. Admittedly smaller than a big box store, weGrow is not unlike a typical retailer in mainstream America, with towering shelves of plant food and vitamins, ventilation and lighting systems. Along with garden products, it offers how-to classes, books and magazines on growing medical marijuana.

"The more that businesses start to push the envelope by showing that this is a legitimate industry, the further we're going to be able to go in changing people's minds," said weGrow founder Dhar Mann.

weGrow's first D.C. location will be located at 1522 Rhode Island Ave. NE, a few blocks east of North Capitol Street.

Although federal law outlaws the cultivation, sale or use of marijuana, 16 states and the District of Columbia have legalized its medical use to treat a wide range of issues from anxiety and back pain to HIV/AIDS and cancer-related ailments. Fourteen states also have some kind of marijuana decriminalization law, removing or lowering penalties for possession.

 

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