DEVON, Pa. (CBS) — Medical help is now here for patients dealing with pain in the Chester County area, and it’s coming in the form of medical marijuana.
Dozens of patients lined up Saturday outside of Keystone Shops in Devon hours ahead of its grand opening.
“I took two trains,” said Richard Powell.
“I got here at nine o’clock this morning,” added Dwyane Delozier.
Keystone Shops is one of multiple medical marijuana dispensaries opening for the first time in Pennsylvania.
“I am so excited, I’m very excited I want to cry, that’s how happy I am,” said patient Jeanne DaSilva. “I am really looking forward to trying this.”
Like many medical marijuana patients, DaSilva says she is looking for an alternative to using prescribed narcotics.
“I don’t know much about medical marijuana, but my pain management and my neurologist, I live in pain and I also have multiple sclerosis, said this should help me up to 50 percent or more,” explained DaSilva.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Richard Powell. “I’ve lived 18 plus years in pain,”
Powell, a former fire fighter, says he injured his back and neck while on the job. Now out of work, his concern is money.
“When you’ve already paid on average $200 to $250 for your consultation fees plus $50 to the Department of Health to get your card in the first place to not know what you’re walking into,” he said.
Capsules, indigestible oils, and vape pens are also for sale at the dispensary, and the cost ranges from $50 to $120.
Many opposed to legalizing medical marijuana say there is not enough scientific evidence about its benefits or safety.
However, Dr. M. Louis Van de Beek with the Chief Medical Office for Keystone Shops says opioid prescription is a bigger risk.
“We know that you can not overdose on marijuana,” he said. “We know that marijuana can not kill you. There are no marijuana receptors in the brain stems the way there are opioid receptors.”
Told by doctors not to open them until they reached their home, patients left the dispensary with sealed bags in hand.
Keystone Shops’s general manager says he is hoping to bring even more types of products to help patients heal.