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County Gets Second Medical Marijuana Grower

August 1, 2018
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County Gets Second Medical Marijuana Grower

Luzerne and Lackawanna counties each will have at least two licensed facilities that grow and process marijuana for medical treatment.

PharmaCann Penn Plant LLC, a Philadelphia-based company, was one of two companies approved to produce medical marijuana in Northeast Pennsylvania in the second phase of licensing, the state Department of Health announced Tuesday.

PharmaCann plans to open at 104 Life Science Drive in Scott Twp., in Scott Technology Park. The Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company, an affiliate of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, owns the property. PharmaCann applied for six licenses across the state, but the state only approved the local one.

Attempts to reach company officials were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Pier Cove LLC, a Chicago-based company, won the other second-phase northeast license for a facility in the Humboldt Industrial Park in Hazle Twp. near Hazleton. The plant will be called the Justice Grown Cultivation and Processing Center.

Pier Cove and PharmaCann were among 13 new grower-processor licenses announced Tuesday by the state Department of Health out of 91 applications, according to a list on the department’s website.

Jamil Taylor, Pier Cove’s chief operations officer, said the company expects to open its processing center within the state-required six months on a vacant 10-acre lot. The building, similar to a warehouse, will cover 15,000 to 30,000 square feet with the possibility of expanding to 100,000 square feet as business grows, Taylor said.

The company expects to hire 15 to 20 people in the first phase with perhaps 20 to 25 overall eventually, he said. The jobs will include plant growers, trimmers, packagers, salesmen and managers. He declined to discuss salaries, but said the benefits would include health insurance and a 401(k) pension plan.

In June 2017, the department announced a grower-processor license for Pennsylvania Medical Solutions LLC for a plant off Rosanna Avenue in Scranton’s lower Green Ridge neighborhood and another for Standards Farms LLC in White Haven in Luzerne County.

Columbia Care Pennsylvania opened the first medical marijuana dispensary in Lackawanna County in April. Justice Grown opened the first dispensary in Luzerne County in Edwardsville in February. The Edwardsville dispensary and the new Hazle Twp. processing plant have a partnership, Taylor said.

More than 52,000 patients registered to get prescriptions for medical marijuana with more than 30,000 of them already granted identification cards that allow them to visit a dispensary. More than 1,000 doctors registered to prescribe medical marijuana with more than 700 approved as practitioners.

Columbia Care Pennsylvania on North Keyser Avenue in Scranton is one of 16 dispensaries across the state set to sell marijuana in dry leaf form starting today. Patients may not smoke it. Instead, they are only permitted to use a vaporizer.

Twelve more dispensaries, including Justice Grown Pennsylvania in Edwardsville, are to have the medication Aug. 8.

Dry leaf is cheaper than other products such as oils and pills, and state officials cleared it for medical use to help lower patient costs.

Contact the writer:

bkrawczeniuk@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9147;

@BorysBlogTT

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