Behind the Scenes: Inside a Medical Marijuana Greenhouse

District Growers is one of the city’s three authorized growers.

Corey Barnette, owner of District Growers, calls his greenhouse a “garden,” but his harvest—as many as a dozen strains of marijuana, with names like Magnificent Intentions and Star 51—sets him apart from the average gardener. Housed in a nondescript, weathered industrial building in Northeast DC, District Growers is one of three cultivation centers that have opened in the city since July, when the sale of marijuana for medical purposes became legal; more are expected to open this year. Barnette—above left, with colleague Rahsaan Peek—got his start in the medical-marijuana industry in San Diego after a friend was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and he talks about his crops like a parent: “You grow them from these little plants, you nurture them, you defend them from pests, and then all of a sudden you become the enemy.” He’s comforted by the feedback from patients: “ ‘Amazing, amazing,’ they say. ‘Keep doing what you do.’ ”

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Photograph by Kathryn V. Rust and Jeff Elkins.

This article appears in the February 2014 issue of The Washingtonian.

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Posted at 09:34 AM/ET, 02/04/2014 RSS | Permalink | Guides