Baltimore Sun

Green Point Dispensary expands to Millersvil­le

Third location set to open ahead of recreation­al cannabis legalizati­on in state July 1

- By Brian Jeffries

When Green Point Dispensary opened in Anne Arundel County in 2017, owner Tony Toskov got his first taste of the medical cannabis business.

Six years later, the business is thriving and Toskov is set to open the dispensary’s third location in Millersvil­le by the middle of June, just before recreation­al cannabis becomes legal for adult use in Maryland July 1.

“We’re shooting to have the location operationa­l to give us a couple weeks of purely medical sales before adult use starts,” Toskov said.

While new licenses won’t be issued to others looking to enter the cannabis industry until the start of 2024, the state offers medical cannabis licensed sellers the first opportunit­y to transition their license to recreation­al sales. Toskov is excited to be part of the new wave of recreation­al sales but is adamant that his business will continue to make room for its original medical customers.

After years of explosive growth, the medical cannabis business has cooled off. It saw a decrease in total revenue for the first time since it launched five years ago. While more Marylander­s than ever have a medical card, according to data released by state regulators in January, the rate of new patient registrati­ons slowed and the price of cannabis in Maryland plummeted over the past year, largely driven by an oversupply of product from cultivator­s and processors, industry insiders say.

Many medical dispensari­es are just hanging on waiting for a resurgence when recreation­al sales become legal.

“We know the lines are going to be crazy once July hits, but we want to make sure that those who need their medicine still have plenty of opportunit­y,” Toskov said. “We plan to open the first couple hours a day strictly for medical sales and then the last couple hours of the day will be sectioned off for medical sales also.”

Green Point’s expansion adds to the

growing list of dispensari­es in Anne Arundel County. In October, Panacea Wellness opened in Parole located not far from another dispensary, Gold Leaf. Toskov’s other dispensari­es are located in Linthicum and Laurel. Both will begin selling recreation­al cannabis in July, he said.

Toskov said he plans to take lessons learned from his previous work in the food and beverage industry.

Before entering the cannabis industry Toskov found success running several bars around Maryland starting in 1993, including Cancun Cantina in Hanover, Bamboo Bernies and later Twain’s Tavern in Pasadena.

“The restaurant bar business will wear you out,” the 61-year-old Toskov said. “I was working 80- to 90-hour weeks at a point so I knew I wanted something else eventually.”

He slowly sold off his stake in the bars in order to go headfirst into the cannabis business in 2017 and now plans to eventually retire doing it.

“I wish I had gone to school to learn a bit more about the ins and outs of running a business, but I’ve been fortunate to now have a lot of experience,” Toskov said. “I’ve failed a couple

“I love the new location. I think it’s a hot area and I love the building.”

times over the years, but I think with failure comes success.”

His next venture will be the 5,000-square-foot cannabis dispensary on Veterans Highway near New Cut Road. Toskov says the 2,800-square-foot sales floor will make it the largest dispensary in the county, if not the state.

“I love the new location, I think it’s a hot area and I love the building,” Toskov said of the former Steak and Shake restaurant. “This will be one of the larger dispensari­es in the state we believe, and we are very excited to boast that we will be locally owned and locally operated.”

A lifelong Anne Arundel County resident, Toskov said he is looking to hire 60 county residents for fulland part-time positions at his Millersvil­le location and 180 new staff members in total. No experience needed, he added.

“We try to do right by our employees, so the goal is to create a work environmen­t that people don’t just want to come work for a year or two and move on but a place they call home and stay for 10, 15, 20 years,” Toskov said.

Starting July 1, licensed medical cannabis dispensari­es in Maryland will be able to sell to anyone over 21 years of age, if they choose to convert their license.

A list of dispensari­es that converted their licenses will be posted on the Maryland Medical Cannabis website before July 1. Cannabis products will be subject to a 9% sales tax while those holding a medical cannabis card will be able to purchase tax-free. A government-issued photo ID that proves the buyer is 21 years old at the date of sale is all that will be needed to purchase cannabis or cannabis products from a licensed dispensary. Individual­s will only be able to purchase up to 1.5 ounces, which is the personal use amount authorized under law.

As of this year Kansas, Nebraska and Idaho are the only states left in the country that don’t have any public programs involving cannabis or low-level CBD.

“It’s a fun industry compared to what I’ve done in the past,” he said. “Being in the club or bar until 3 in the morning, now I’m home by 7 p.m. and I come in to work at 8 a.m. It’s just a normal life now, I’m happy to come to work every day.”

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