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Meet the women bringing medical cannabis to Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. — A planned medical cannabis facility in Manchester likely wouldn’t be coming to fruition without the efforts of a local real estate broker, a granite countertop company owner and a healthcare IT executive.

A group led by Angel Papa, Ausrine Kuktelionyte and Sunita Gupta, who each were already involved in their own respective local companies, saw an opening to get in on a new industry coming to Virginia after Gov. Ralph Northam passed a bill allowing five medical cannabidiol (CBD) oil-processing dispensaries to operate in the state.

(From left to right) Philip Goldberg, Angel Papa, Ausrine Kuktelionyte, Kevin Goldberg, Sunita Gupta, and her husband Sanjay Mittal. (Courtesy of Green Leaf Medical)

According to Papa, she and her colleagues met the folks running Green Leaf Medical, a Maryland-based dispensary company, through a mutual acquaintance.

Papa said she was intrigued, and she and her partners traveled to conferences around the country to learn about CBD technology and the cannabidiol oil industry.

“I find this industry to be fascinating,” Papa said. “The scientific and agricultural aspects of the business are interesting and exciting to me.”

The conversation with Green Leaf progressed quickly from there and the two sides joined forces to apply for one of the coveted licenses and bring a CBD facility to the Richmond market.

“We were immediately impressed at how open and transparent they were,” Papa said. “They invited us to their Frederick, Maryland, grow facility for a tour, and the conversation quickly changed to partnering up in Virginia.”

The women formed Virginia Pharmaceutical Processors (VPP), an LLC they operated under as they worked the real estate side of the deal, identifying a site for the facility and assembling a group of local contractors to design and build it. VPP then banded with Green Leaf Medical to form Green Leaf Medical of Virginia (GLMVA), which the women and Green Leaf’ Phil and Kevin Goldberg own together.

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