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Maryland weed dispensaries have 'high' expectations ahead of recreational marijuana legalization

Maryland weed dispensaries have 'high' expectations ahead of recreational marijuana legalization
Maryland weed dispensaries have 'high' expectations ahead of recreational marijuana legalization 02:18

Less than a mile from where Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed the bill legalizing recreational marijuana, employees at dispensary Goldleaf Annapolis are getting ready for Saturday.

On July 1, recreational use and sales will be legal in Maryland.

"It's all something we've been anticipating for a very long time, but with that excitement, does come a little bit of anxiety," said Clare McGuire, marketing manager at Goldleaf.

RELATED: Weed legalization in Maryland: How we got here

Goldleaf Annapolis is one of the busiest dispensaries in the state.

McGuire said they currently serve about 1,000 medical cannabis patients a day.

But they expect those numbers to skyrocket come July 1 when recreational weed is legal in the state.

"Overnight, we're about to see three to five times as many patients," said Assistant General Manager Kayla Halwick said.

Halwick said there's a lot to be done to get ready to welcome thousands of new clients, including bulk-ordering from their grower and expanding their space and their staff.

"There's been talk in the market about maybe a shortage of products within the upcoming months, so definitely making sure we have enough products to last quite a while," Halwick said.

 "A lot of preparation, a lot of hiring and a lot of retraining to make sure that our staff is trained on all the new regulations that come with serving an entirely new customer base," McGuire added.

Almost 70 miles away in Cecil County, Chief Financial Officer of Nature's Care and Wellness, Robert Windsor says the dispensary expects its customer base to increase by approximately 18 percent after July 1.

To accommodate, Windsor says they're expanding their storefront to occupy the entire shopping center, even adding a cafe and coffee shop to the property.

"Honestly, it's what we've all been waiting for," Windsor said.

For both dispensaries, the regulations mean their business models will have to change.

By law, they will have to keep medical cannabis patients and recreational clients separate.  

"To ensure that a medical patient isn't waiting in line behind 100-plus rec patients that haven't been here before," McGuire said.

McGuire said she expects that first day to be hectic.

"We have people on duty for traffic control and making sure our parking lot is under control," McGuire said.

It's a new frontier for Maryland's budding cannabis industry, but Windsor said he's confident all the hard work will pay off.

"This is going to catapult the industry and bring a ton of revenue into the state that is needed dramatically," Windsor said.

For all you need to know about recreational marijuana legalization, check out website.

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