Local dispensary open in Delaware


Bear River Dispensary has opened its doors in Delaware as the city’s first medical marijuana dispensary, and during Monday’s meeting of the Delaware City Council, representatives of the dispensary were on hand to give a presentation of their business and what the community can expect from it moving forward.

Located at 26 Moore St., Bear River Dispensary is family owned and operated and offers a wide variety of products ranging from oils and concentrates to edibles, buds, and more. The dispensary is open seven days a week, and hours range from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays.

“We have an amazing group of employees who are truly students of their craft,” Bear River representative Luke Beechum said during the meeting. “We often get fairly new patients, new to the industry, who come in looking for more natural remedies to things like arthritis, fibromyalgia, and even Parkinson’s disease.

“Our wonderful budtenders, as they’re called, are able to listen to these patients, understand their ailments, and recommend specific applications of the product, specific ways to treat, or specific strains that are known to have cannabinoid compounds or terpenes. These are naturally occurring chemicals within cannabis, and thanks to modern science, we’re realizing that these naturally occurring chemicals treat different things as specialized as gastrointestinal issues or sleep issues. It’s a really wide variety, and the science is moving very quickly in understanding and better helping patients.”

Beechum added that with the pace at which the science is evolving, the industry is moving even quicker and will continue to do so with the likely legalization of recreational marijuana coming to Ohio soon. He said his expectation is for recreational cannabis to become legalized “within the next seven months,” and with it will come a “tidal wave” of new dispensary licenses that will be distributed throughout the state.

“We know personally that there are several large, multi-state dispensaries that are targeting the Columbus area and the surrounding central Ohio area in an effort to open their new dispensaries around this area,” he said. “This is where we believe our goal will kind of align with your goals in that, obviously, we don’t want any more dispensaries in the area. And we believe your goal is to kind of protect the family-oriented community image that Delaware has worked so hard to present. And this is why we’re going to recommend limiting the number of dispensary licenses within Delaware to mirror something along the lines of the state liquor store license.”

Beechum offered up the model of having one dispensary license per 100,000 people in the city, a model he said has become common with cities in states where recreational cannabis is legal. “Obviously, we realize that this is clearly better for our business, but we also believe this is the best way to prepare Delaware for the future of the legalized recreational cannabis industry,” he went on to say.

Councilman Cory Hoffman scoffed at the notion of being asked to limit the number of dispensary licenses granted in Delaware, saying such a request seems like an attempt to protect Bear River’s income stream.

Councilman Drew Farrell inquired about the security measures in place for the dispensary, which is located in an area that is mostly residential. Bill Beechum, a board advisor for Bear River, said there is a third-party company that fulfills the state’s requirement of having a security officer on-site during all open hours.

Luke Beechum added that, per state regulations, there are security cameras that cover “literally every inch” of the property, and the products are stored in what he called a “very big vault.”

To learn more about the dispensary, visit its website at www.thebearriver.com.

Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

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