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Columbia Care acquires Milford warehouse

Katie Tabeling

Columbia Care, which has three Delaware storefronts including this one in north Wilmington, has bought a Milford warehouse for $2.9 million.| DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS

MILFORD — Medical marijuana giant Columbia Care has bought a warehouse off U.S. Route 113, marking its latest move in growing its presence in the First State.

Columbia Care Inc. bought a 37,524-square-foot warehouse on East Masten Circle for $2.9 million on June 16, according to Kent County property records. The warehouse in Milford Industrial Park includes a 2,050-square-foot office space, cold storage and five truck bays, according to real estate listings.

Columbia Care representatives could not be reached for comment.

N.K.S. Distributors, the state’s largest liquor distributor, used the warehouse for its Kent County operations until it built a 275,000-square-foot warehouse in Smyrna. Once complete, N.K.S. planned to move its Milford and New Castle operations under one roof.

Based in New York, Columbia Care is a publicly-traded medical marijuana retail company that has the largest number of Delaware storefronts. In March, it reached a deal to be acquired by Cresco Labs, a Chicago-based multi-state operator that is the largest wholesaler of branded cannabis products in the country. The deal was valued at $2 billion.

Columbia Care has dispensary licenses in 17 states and operates three Delaware medical marijuana dispensaries, with one each in Wilmington, Smyrna and Rehoboth Beach.

In 2016, Columbia Care was awarded the first Kent County dispensary license and planned to open at a then-unknown location in the next year. But when 2017 came and went, the Delaware News Journal reported that it was delayed for unknown reasons – and revealed it was planning a retail location in the Milford Industrial Park.

Milford officials maintained that a dispensary was not allowed in the city code, but that a “manufacturing facility” was permitted, according to a 2017 report from the Delaware Public Media.

Eventually, Columbia Care opened up shop in Smyrna in 2018. 

Today, there are seven dispensaries in Delaware under four operators. Columbia Care has three locations in all three counties; First State Compassion, a local company with Wilmington and Lewes location; Fresh Cannabis, which has a single Newark location and is operated by New Jersey-based Compassionate Care Research Institute; and The Farm in Harrington.

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