Eastern Henrico gets its first medical marijuana dispensary

cannabis plant cropped

New York-based Cannabist has expanded its brick-and-mortar presence in the region with a new medical marijuana dispensary near White Oak Village. (BizSense file)

Following yet another unsuccessful attempt earlier this year by lawmakers to launch a legal statewide recreational pot market, the sole state-sanctioned medical marijuana seller in the Richmond region has further expanded its retail footprint.

The latest local dispensary for the Cannabist chain opened last week at 4320 S. Laburnum Ave. in eastern Henrico.

It joins an existing Cannabist store at 3100 W. Cary St. in Carytown, and dispensaries from Cannabist brand gLeaf at 11190 W. Broad St. in Short Pump and 401 Southpark Blvd. in Colonial Heights. There’s also a gLeaf cannabis growing and processing facility and on-site dispensary at 2804 Decatur St. in South Richmond.

Only people who are registered patients in the state’s medical program are able to buy products from the dispensaries. The stores sell pre-rolled joints, marijuana buds, edibles and other products from brands like Seed & Strain, gLeaf, Classix and Hedy.

The new Cannabist dispensary took over a 5,500-square-foot space in the Laburnum Park Shopping Center. Major tenants at the center, which is across from White Oak Village, include Gold’s Gym and Dollar Tree. The Laburnum Avenue storefront, which is the D suite, was formerly occupied by an ABC store.

cannabist dispensary henrico scaled

The Cannabist medical marijuana dispensary at 4320 S. Laburnum Ave. (Jack Jacobs photo)

Renovations of the space for Cannabist were handled by James City County-based David Nice Builders. New York-based Method Architects handled the design of the space.

A Cannabist spokeswoman declined to comment on the cost associated with opening the dispensary.

With the Laburnum Avenue location now open, New York-based Cannabist is able to open just one more dispensary in Health Service Area 4, which covers the Richmond and Petersburg areas, per the rules of the state’s medical marijuana program.

Cannabist, formerly known as Columbia Care, also controls the operator license for Health Service Area 5 (Hampton Roads and eastern Virginia). License holders are able to operate up to five satellite dispensaries in addition to a single pot growing-and-processing facility within the borders of each license’s associated health service area.

Companies that hold the state medical program licenses are currently the only entities that can legally sell marijuana in Virginia. While it has been legal for individuals to possess and grow small amounts of marijuana for personal recreational use for about three years, it remains illegal for anyone to sell pot for recreational use.

The latest attempt to launch a retail recreational market in Virginia failed in March when Gov. Glenn Youngkin vetoed legislation that would have initiated legal sales.

Senate Bill 448 and House Bill 698 proposed a May 2025 launch date for a recreational market. While the final versions of the defeated bills were the same, earlier versions of the legislation varied in their approaches to the market rollout, how many licenses would be available and who would benefit from state-sponsored business support programs.

The recently vetoed legislation followed failed attempts to legalize a recreational retail market in 2023 and 2022. When then-Gov. Ralph Northam signed into law the legalization of consumption, cultivation and possession of marijuana for adults in 2021, the legislation included language related to the creation of a legal retail market that needed to be reenacted with subsequent legislation.

cannabis plant cropped

New York-based Cannabist has expanded its brick-and-mortar presence in the region with a new medical marijuana dispensary near White Oak Village. (BizSense file)

Following yet another unsuccessful attempt earlier this year by lawmakers to launch a legal statewide recreational pot market, the sole state-sanctioned medical marijuana seller in the Richmond region has further expanded its retail footprint.

The latest local dispensary for the Cannabist chain opened last week at 4320 S. Laburnum Ave. in eastern Henrico.

It joins an existing Cannabist store at 3100 W. Cary St. in Carytown, and dispensaries from Cannabist brand gLeaf at 11190 W. Broad St. in Short Pump and 401 Southpark Blvd. in Colonial Heights. There’s also a gLeaf cannabis growing and processing facility and on-site dispensary at 2804 Decatur St. in South Richmond.

Only people who are registered patients in the state’s medical program are able to buy products from the dispensaries. The stores sell pre-rolled joints, marijuana buds, edibles and other products from brands like Seed & Strain, gLeaf, Classix and Hedy.

The new Cannabist dispensary took over a 5,500-square-foot space in the Laburnum Park Shopping Center. Major tenants at the center, which is across from White Oak Village, include Gold’s Gym and Dollar Tree. The Laburnum Avenue storefront, which is the D suite, was formerly occupied by an ABC store.

cannabist dispensary henrico scaled

The Cannabist medical marijuana dispensary at 4320 S. Laburnum Ave. (Jack Jacobs photo)

Renovations of the space for Cannabist were handled by James City County-based David Nice Builders. New York-based Method Architects handled the design of the space.

A Cannabist spokeswoman declined to comment on the cost associated with opening the dispensary.

With the Laburnum Avenue location now open, New York-based Cannabist is able to open just one more dispensary in Health Service Area 4, which covers the Richmond and Petersburg areas, per the rules of the state’s medical marijuana program.

Cannabist, formerly known as Columbia Care, also controls the operator license for Health Service Area 5 (Hampton Roads and eastern Virginia). License holders are able to operate up to five satellite dispensaries in addition to a single pot growing-and-processing facility within the borders of each license’s associated health service area.

Companies that hold the state medical program licenses are currently the only entities that can legally sell marijuana in Virginia. While it has been legal for individuals to possess and grow small amounts of marijuana for personal recreational use for about three years, it remains illegal for anyone to sell pot for recreational use.

The latest attempt to launch a retail recreational market in Virginia failed in March when Gov. Glenn Youngkin vetoed legislation that would have initiated legal sales.

Senate Bill 448 and House Bill 698 proposed a May 2025 launch date for a recreational market. While the final versions of the defeated bills were the same, earlier versions of the legislation varied in their approaches to the market rollout, how many licenses would be available and who would benefit from state-sponsored business support programs.

The recently vetoed legislation followed failed attempts to legalize a recreational retail market in 2023 and 2022. When then-Gov. Ralph Northam signed into law the legalization of consumption, cultivation and possession of marijuana for adults in 2021, the legislation included language related to the creation of a legal retail market that needed to be reenacted with subsequent legislation.

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Justin Reynolds
Justin Reynolds
23 days ago

This location should perform well given it’s pretty far from Carytown, which usually has long lines on the sidewalk. Virginia really needs competition in this space so hopefully the General Assembly and our next Gov. will get the job done.

Bruce Milam
Bruce Milam
23 days ago

As liquor receipts continue to fall and desperate attempts by the Governor to revive them fail, will there be enlightenment that recreation legalization is inevitable, ala the withdrawal of alcohol prohibition? Marijuana is everywhere today, but it’s unregulated and untaxed. How long will the GOP sleep on this reality?

Jay Emory
Jay Emory
23 days ago
Reply to  Bruce Milam

We spent the weekend down in Virginia Beach and spent quite a bit of time along the boardwalk. To say that weed was the primary smell is an understatement. I say all of that to say that I agree with you! People are using, it’s obvious that it is no longer a concern for the police. Now, can we just get a freaking retail market?

Michael Boyer
Michael Boyer
23 days ago
Reply to  Jay Emory

Cool man