Potential Problems With Three of Four Philadelphia Dispensaries

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Of the four sites in Philadelphia awarded marijuana dispensary licenses by the state on Thursday only two have the required city permits, and one of those has been the center of controversy because of its proximity to a day care provider.

Councilwoman Cherelle Parker has appealed the permit for the Terra Vida Center on Stenton Avenue in Mt. Airy.

After the license was awarded, Parker said she was “extremely disappointed” and would continue to fight the dispensary.

“The community and I remain vehemently opposed to this site, given its close proximity to a daycare and a myriad of other serious concerns expressed by neighbors including public safety, security, parking, and traffic,” she said in an emailed statement.

READ: PA Awards First Medical Marijuana Dispensary Permits

Holistic Pharma and Pharma Cann both received licenses, even though the city has not granted either a permit.

Pharma Cann’s general counsel Jeremy Unruh says the company has applied for a permit for at Franklin Mills but it is still pending. He says it intends to apply for a second site, as allowed by the state.

“We need to get one up and running,” he said, then find another, “and then make our introduction to those communities and the decision-makers and stakeholders in those areas and make sure that they’re comfortable with our operation and our use,” Unruh said.

Pharma Cann already has dispensaries in Illinois and New York.

“The Commonwealth has learned a lot of lessons from watching those other states that have come before it, and we expect there to be a really great program once it gets up and running and off the ground,” said Unruh.

Holistic Pharma’s license is for 8900 Krewstown Rd. A city official says both companies will have to get zoning permits before they can open the dispensaries.

Another license went to Restore Integrative Wellness.

Owner Steve O says he’s very excited about the potential of his site on Frankford Avenue.

“Obviously we have grand visions for this place. I think it’s situated ideally for the medical cannabis patient population. It’s very accessible,” he said. “I really do believe in this medicine, and I’m really ecstatic that we can service a wide variety of patients in a very densely populated area.”

The site is the closest to Center City.

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