Baltimore Sun’s Best Readers’ Choice: Medical Marijuana Contest — Best Dispensary is Green Point Wellness
By John Coffren
Apr 01, 2021 at 5:00 AM
An unassuming green building with a light green ATM stands between an automotive shop and a Holiday Inn hotel in Linthicum Heights. The white sign with green letters spells out Green Point and hangs over the front entrance. Green Point became the first dispensary in Anne Arundel County three years ago and has since been joined by nearly 90 dispensaries statewide. It can claim another first, the first Best Dispensary in Maryland, as chosen by readers of The Baltimore Sun.
Owner Tony Toskov credits his customers and his team for the honor. “The success of our business is really based on referrals by other customers,” Toskov said. “That’s how our business has been built. We have such a loyal following here, and I think it’s based on the way people are treated when they come in.”
Green Point staff hold doors open for walk-ins, check them in at the front desk, which includes a temperature check, and ask for a Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission ID card and provider’s approval. Classic rock plays over the intercom system as customers, called patients by the staff, are escorted to the back of the store. A dispensary agent will accompany them through two sets of doors and recheck their ID before entering a room without windows and a three-quarter room wraparound glass case of wares to talk about which products best serve the needs of the customer.
Manager Erica Cegelski asks a series of questions: Have you had any experience with cannabis? What brings you in? Are you comfortable with being high? The conversation helps her best determine the products for the customer. Typically, a first-timer “starts out small and builds up,” usually 120 milligrams, according to Cegelski.
“Flower cannabis is what most people associate with the dispensary,” Cegelski said. And the menu offers more than 80 flower strands with names like: Grapefuit Sour Dream, Phantom Cookies and Dark Star Tangle. Additionally there are topicals, concentrates, edibles and tinctures.
Purchases are labeled with stickers noting them as medication, in the event the customer has an interaction with law enforcement.
Toskov said Green Point serves about 300 customers a day and Cegelski said a typical spending rate was between $80 and $150.
Being a restaurateur for most of his life, Toskov was a little nervous at first about entering the medical cannabis business, but those fears were quickly allayed. Toskov still owns Twain’s Tavern and Two Rivers, both of which are in Pasadena.
“When I got the cannabis license I was a little bit like, ‘OK, I hope this doesn’t really destroy my image, what people think about me.’ How can I do this? Maybe behind the scenes, and as I learned more and more about it I was like: I’m right out front with this. This is amazing that there are so many people that can find cannabis to help them alternatively [manage pain] instead of opioids.”