Two licenses to dispense medical marijuana were awarded yesterday to Lawrence County.

Harvest of Northwest PA, LLC, based in Tempe, Arizona, proposes locating one dispensary at 809 Sampson St., a site formerly occupied by Waldman’s Meats.

The second license awarded yesterday was to GTI Pennsylvania LLC, based in Chicago. It proposes operating as RISE New Castle at a location yet to be determined. Pennsylvania Department of Health press secretary Nate Wardle said he believes it “is in close proximity to the other location.

Ten companies had applied for a dispensary license.

“We’ll take it,” Mayor Anthony Mastrangelo said yesterday. “Any business is a good business. I’m glad to welcome them here.”

Mastrangelo noted that both sites are in New Castle and added that medical marijuana is now legal in Pennsylvania.

“So why not have a dispensary in New Castle?” he asked.

Bruce Waldman, who with his brother, David, still owns the building at 809 Sampson St., said he was thrilled to learn his site had been selected.

“I’m happy,” he said. “I no longer employ anyone. I’ve been out of the manufacturing business since 2001 and I’ve been trying to sell that building. Maybe now I’ll be able to.”

Waldman said the building currently has good tenants including Wholesome Food Services, which has been there since 1998.

Waldman said he met a representative of a company interested in distributing medical marijuana in March. “Since then, I might have spoken to him on the phone once or twice.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Health yesterday issued 23 dispensary permits for Phase II medical marijuana program.

Those named will have six months to become operational before they can begin dispensing medical marijuana. Once all become operational, Pennsylvania will have 79 dispensaries in the state.

Lawrence County is located in the state’s Northwest Region, which previously had two dispensaries one in Butler County and one in Erie County.

Dr. Rachel Levine, Secretary of Health, said the permits “…will ensure more people have access to medical marijuana close to home. Medical marijuana is an essential form of treatment for Pennsylvanians suffering from one of 21 serious medical conditions. this step continues the growth of our scientific, medically-based medical marijuana program.

More than 98,000 Pennsylvanians is registered to participate in the medical marijuana program. More than 66,000 of them have identification cards and may purchase medical marijuana at a dispensary.

Since the medical marijuana program was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf on April 17, 2016, the department has:

  • Completed temporary regulations governing the program;
  • Convened the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board;
  • Approved six training providers for physician continuing education;
  • Approved four laboratories to test medication before it is delivered to patients;
  • Registered more than 98,000 patients and issued more than 66,000 identification cards;
  • Validated over 364,000 dispensing events;
  • Issued 25 grower/processor permits, 12 of which are operational;
  • Issued 50 dispensary permits and approved 43 locations to begin operations; and
  • Certified eight medical schools as Academic Clinical Research Centers.

Source: New Castle News
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