The commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been making a lot of headlines in the cannabis news space recently, due to its medical program getting off the ground and the fact that dispensaries were experiencing shortages – even though the program is still in its infancy. Despite the fact that there has been some great news coming out of the city as well, with the district attorney suing big pharmaceutical companies and dropping low-level cannabis cases, Philadelphia still didn’t have a dispensary to call its own.
There are some dispensaries established in the suburbs of the city of brotherly love, but none in center city itself – which is puzzling, considering that Philly is the most densely populated municipality in the entire state of Pennsylvania. That will finally change this summer and fall, as The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that at least four medical dispensaries plan to open up shop within the city limits.
“The opening of medical cannabis dispensaries in Philadelphia will make critical treatments more accessible to patients in need,” city Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement. “The program is also creating attractive jobs and the resulting tax revenue will fund important programs that improve our city and Commonwealth.”
The first official dispensary to open in Philadelphia will be Restore Integrative Wellness Centers, on the 900 block of Frankford Avenue. The dispensary will begin sales in late May of this year. The location will be across from the Fillmore Philadelphia concert venue. A Denver-based cannabis investment group is financing Beyond/Hello, and they will be open to serve patients in Center City on the 1200 block of Sansom Street. The company is claiming to be the first to announce opening a medical dispensary in Philly, but has delayed opening until the fall due to the location being under construction. Holistic Pharma plans to open in June in the Northeast part of the city, and Keystone Shops will open up in South Philly, right around the sports stadium complex.
Other companies tried to open medical dispensary locations in the Northeast and by the Mount Airy casino. However, these locations ran into issues with complex zoning laws and also faced heavy opposition from locals who still maintain a prohibitionist mindset. If these Pennsylvania residents witness the success of the planned dispensaries that will be opening in Philadelphia, they might change their tune. At this point, there is simply no denying the fact that legal cannabis brings in boatloads of tax revenue and new job opportunities. Not to mention, people suffering from one of the qualifying 17 diseases will finally have access to the medicine that brings them relief.