Finding the Top dispensaries in the Lehigh Valley

Olive Rios
July 8, 2019

 

The thought of legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania is drawing mixed reaction. State lawmakers from the Lehigh Valley are weighing in following the announcement that Pennsylvania's lieutenant governor will hold a statewide listening tour on the topic.

  

Medical marijuana has been legal in Pennsylvania since 2016 and both Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and Governor Tom Wolf believe it is time for the commonwealth to take a serious look at expansion. That's why Fetterman says he will visit all 67 counties during his statewide Recreational Marijuana Legalization Listening Tour.

 

The Columbia Care dispensary

 

One of the nation’s most prominent medical cannabis businesses is opening a dispensary next week in South Whitehall Township just beyond Allentown city limits.

 

Columbia Care Pennsylvania’s dispensary at 3025 Tilghman St. will begin accepting state-certified patients Monday. It’s the company’s third location in Northeast Pennsylvania since receiving one of the initial 27 dispensary permits in June 2017 and and the third location to open in the Lehigh Valley.

 

Keystone Canna Remedies opened the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary in February on Stefko Boulevard in Bethlehem. Mission Pennsylvania opened a dispensary in June on West Emmaus Avenue in Allentown.

 

The Columbia Care dispensary is in a one-story retail building owned by Barry and Penny Vogt on the north side of Tilghman Street across from the Village West shopping center. The property, in the first block west of Allentown, was home to Vogt’s Jewelers until 2014. Salon James also leases space in the building. Pa medical cannabis previously opened dispensaries in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre.

 

The third location “further substantiates Columbia Care’s exponential growth and validates our ongoing commitment to expanding accessibility and availability of pharmaceutical-quality cannabis-based medicines for more patients,” Nicholas Vida, chief executive officer of Columbia Care, said in a news release.

 

Columbia Care’s dispensaries offer an assortment of sublingual tinctures, capsules, concentrates, pain creams, transdermal patches and vaporization pens, among other medicinal products.

 

The company provides discounts to veterans, seniors and those on social security disability insurance, Medicaid or Medicare, according to a news release.

 

 “We are grateful for the support provided to us by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and are honored to begin serving the Allentown community,” Vida said. “We look forward to continuing to improve the lives of patients and their families by ensuring ease and convenience at this new location.”

Columbia Care bills itself as the largest manufacturer and provider of medical marijuana products and services, with 750,000 patient interactions in 10 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.

 

The licensed pharmacist based at the South Whitehall location will tap “the nation’s largest repository of patient data” in helping patients determine an optimal dosing regimen, according to the news release.

 

A dispensary permit allows a business to operate three locations. Columbia Care applied this spring for additional permits in two other regions of the state. The Department of Health has not yet issued the remaining 23 permits.

 

Columbia’s South Whitehall location is the 42nd dispensary to open statewide, according to the health department. As of last week, more than 95,000 patients in Pennsylvania have registered to participate in the medical marijuana program, and more than 64,000 have identification cards and are able to purchase medical marijuana at a dispensary.

Pennsylvania Dispensary Solutions

 

Following Pennsylvania last week issuance of 23 new permits for medical marijuana dispensaries, and one is planned in Northampton County.

Pennsylvania Dispensary Solutions, LLC plans to open a dispensary in Saucon Valley Square, 3731 Route 378 in Lower Saucon Township, as well as a dispensary at 1146 S. Main Ave. in Scranton.

The subsidiary of Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Vireo Health also operates a medical cannabis cultivation and manufacturing facility in Scranton and says its products are available in three-quarters of Pennsylvania's dispensaries.

The Saucon Valley Square location south of Bethlehem is scheduled to open in mid-2019, a spokesman for Pennsylvania Dispensary Solutions said.

The Lehigh Valley is also home to the following dispensaries:

        Columbia Care LLC, 3025 W. Tilghman St. in South Whitehall Township.

        Mission Pennsylvania II LLC, 2733 W. Emmaus Ave. in Allentown.

        Keystone Canna Remedies, 1309 Stefko Blvd. in Bethlehem.

A year ago, Keystone Canna Remedies became the first place to dispense medical marijuana in the Lehigh Valley. Now, it’s expanding operations.

On Monday, a real estate agent announced that Keystone has closed a $1.03 million sale for a second location in South Whitehall Township. That will make it the fifth medical marijuana dispensary in the Lehigh Valley.

The new location will be in a 7,000-square-foot medical office building at 3340 Hamilton Blvd. (Route 222), near Dorney Park and less than a mile from Interstate 78. County records value the property at about $1 million.

 

Also in the region, a medical marijuana company called NETA NJ LLC is working to open a cultivation and processing plant and separate dispensary in Phillipsburg. Town officials are working to find a location, however, over concerns the growing and processing facility is too close to an elementary school.

 

 

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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