High times for niche retailer

A franchise chain of West Coast supply stores for “indoor gardeners” is bringing its special strain of controversy to Washington, D.C., with a fourth location in the Northeast quadrant of the nation’s capital.

WeGrow, which will open a 2,500-sq.-ft. “hydroponics superstore” this spring, is making no secret about its intention to serve medical marijuana growers. WeGrow already operates similar retail shops in Sacramento and Oakland, Calif., and Phoenix. The use of medical marijuana is legal in both California and Arizona.

“We’re not selling anything that has not been sold before,” said franchisee Alex Wong in a television interview posted on WeGrow’s website. Customers will include ordinary gardeners as well as marijuana cultivators, he added. Staff will give advice to both groups, and inventory will include pipes and other paraphernalia.

Whether Wong — and the District of Columbia — runs into trouble with the federal government remains to be seen.