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"We took the hardest challenge in the city and made that our cornerstone"

The Commonwealth’s motto has long been “Virginia is for Lovers.” But Jacob Kessler and his team at GCVA Limited Company in Gate City believe that now, Virginia is for growers — specifically cannabis growers.

GCVA Limited Company is Gate City’s first cannabis store located at 113 Cleveland Street, focusing on indoor growing supplies downtown. The new business opened in 2022, following Virginia’s Cannabis Control Act in July 2021. The new laws legalized personal, private use of no more than one ounce of cannabis for adults 21 and older. The law also allows adults 21 and older to grow up to four plants per person. Now, the new Gate City business has joined in on the new Commonwealth industry. 

“Our approach was to take the hardest challenge in the city and make that your cornerstone,” said Kessler, the store's main grower and one of its four owners. “Everybody gravitated toward Bristol and Roanoke, but to me, you could zoom out the picture and look at Gate City. Economically this small chunk may not have it, but as a region it does.”

Kessler’s initial plan was to only become a state-certified cannabis cultivator on his recently obtained farm in Duffield. But to Kessler, the southwestern corner of the Commonwealth feels a bit like a chance to share his extensive and formerly underground knowledge of cannabis and its industry.

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