Former talk show host Montel Williams is one of medical marijuana’s biggest proponents (he’s also a patient), but his dreams of opening a Columbia Road NW dispensary seem to have been dashed by a nervous landlord.
According to a statement from Williams’s PR team, the owner of the property located at 1815 Columbia Rd. NW (it’s currently a Foot Action USA) backed out of the dispensary deal over concerns that it would be used for dispensing marijuana, which, despite local laws, is still illegal under federal law.
“Despite clear communications by the real estate professional representing the property owner regarding interest to enter into a lease agreement, in addition to weeks of discussions, exchanges of documents, and survey work, Abatin learned abruptly that the ownership would not in fact consummate a lease agreement because of concerns related to the status of medical marijuana under federal law,” said the statement.
“Unfortunately, this deal became the victim of processes outside the control for Abatin. The short turnaround laid out in the D.C. regulations, a challenging regulatory environment for the property’s ownership, and either a communication breakdown between the property owner and the real estate broker or unauthorized representations by the broker (based on the representations of the property owner), led the deal to collapse. In the coming days we will evaluate our options moving forward.”
Williams — who runs a dispensary in Sacramento and recently had an application in Oakland ranked poorly by city officials — hoped to open the dispensary as a partner to a cultivation center he has planned for Ward 5. That location seems safe — at a recent meeting in Ward 5, the owner of the building spoke on Williams’s behalf.