ON VACATION IN COLORADO this
past summer, my wife, Susan, and I
went into a marijuana dispensary in
Denver to see what it was like. (Hold
the sarcastic comments, please, we
really were just curious.) I was amazed
by the selection and the seemingly
countless ways people can get high
these days. ;ere were infused
beverages, gummies, frozen treats
and some wonderful product names.
Among my favorites: the “TasteBudz”
line of edibles and “Blissful Blueberry
Chill Pills” hard candy.
Two months later I visited another
dispensary, but this one wasn’t in the
Mile High City—it was in downtown
Bethesda, less than a block from my
o;ce. I toured Health for Life Bethesda
on Fairmont Avenue in late August,
a few days before it opened. While
the “product” wasn’t on display yet,
the security clearances required for
entrance left little doubt that this was
no ordinary retail store.
Maryland, like 30 other states and
Washington, D.C., now permits the
sale of medicinal cannabis. Since Dec.
1, 2017, when the law went into e;ect,
about 20 dispensaries have opened in
Montgomery County or will in the near
future. And more than 8,000 county
residents have been certified to buy
medical pot legally.
In this issue’s cover story, “A New
Leaf,” writer April Witt examines
how consumers and the medical
establishment are adjusting to the
new reality of legal medicinal weed.
“Patients have been much faster than
doctors to embrace medical marijuana,”
Witt says. “Many doctors are
concerned about the lack of research
proving the e;cacy.”
Whatever disagreement remains
about medical marijuana, the issue
will probably be moot in the not-
too-distant future. As contributing
editor Lou Peck points out in a sidebar
to Witt’s story, full legalization in
Maryland is likely in the next five years.
Our coverage begins on page 130.
IN THE FIRST YEAR or two after we
launched Bethesda Magazine in 2004,
Susan and I would often go to dinner
at Tel Aviv Café on Cordell Avenue in
Bethesda (the current site of Barrel +
Crow). While there, we would talk with
the amiable chef, Dimitri Moshovitis.
He had time to talk because the
restaurant had so few customers, which
explains why it didn’t last for long.
;e closing of Tel Aviv Café
turned out to be a very good thing
for Moshovitis—and for diners in the
Washington area and, increasingly,
around the country. In 2006, Moshovitis
and boyhood pals Ted Xenohristos
and Ike Grigoropoulos opened CAVA
Mezze, a Mediterranean restaurant in
Rockville. Today, CAVA Group Inc.
operates five full-service restaurants
and more than 60 fast-casual eateries,
with locations as far flung as California
and Texas, and sells dips and spreads in
more than 250 Whole Foods stores and
In August, CAVA announced plans
to acquire Zoës Kitchen, a chain of more
than 250 fast-casual restaurants in 20
states, for about $300 million. Shortly
after the announcement, writer Carole
Sugarman interviewed the three CAVA
owners at their first fast-casual CAVA in
Bethesda about their childhoods, humble
beginnings in the restaurant business and
how their success has a;ected them.
Sugarman’s interview begins on page
EVERY YEAR IN THE November/
December issue we run a photo of
our sta;. We do so to recognize the
people who, more than anyone, are
responsible for whatever success we
have had. I am fortunate and grateful
to work with such a wonderful and
Editor & Publisher
to our readers
A NEW LEAF
Back row, from left: Dan Schere, Cindy Rich, Sylvia Silver, Glynis Kazanjian, Kathleen Neary, Amélie Ward,
Leigh McDonald, Elizabeth Leasure, Jill Trone, Julie Rasicot. Front row, from left: Meghan Murphy,
Jenny Fischer, Onecia Ribeiro, Elly Stauffer, Susan Hull, Penny Skarupa, Arlis Dellapa, Jennifer Farkas.
Not pictured: Laura Goode, Caitlynn Peetz, LuAnne Spurrell.