A company awarded a medical marijuana dispensary permit by the state Thursday will locate its facility at the Gateway Shopping Center in Edwardsville.
The local dispensary operated by Justice Grown Pennsylvania LLC would be its entry into the state after having established operations in Illinois and California.
Meanwhile, Columbia Care Pennsylvania LLC received a permit for a dispensary on Keyser Avenue in Scranton. The company identified 765 Kidder St. in Wilkes-Barre as its second location and a third in Blakeslee, Monroe County.
Abbe Kruger of Shavertown, chief executive officer of Justice Grown’s Pennsylvania affiliate, said the dispensary should be operational by early next year.
A former attorney, Kruger said she has a personal connection with the company founded by civil rights attorneys in Chicago. She described them as social activists in tune with giving back to the community, and they see the opportunity to do that here with the dispensary.
“It was really easy for me to line up with this group,” Kruger said.
Justice Grown received one of the 27 permits awarded by the department as part of the Medical Marijuana Act signed into law last year by Gov. Tom Wolf. The recipients have six months to begin dispensing medical marijuana processed from growers awarded permits last week. Patients under the care of a physician for treatment of a serious medical condition spelled out in the law will be able to obtain oil, tincture and cream forms of the medical marijuana. It will not be available in plant form for smoking, however.
The highly competitive permitting process attracted hundreds of applicants, said John Collins, director of the state’s Office of Medical Marijuana.
“Once this program is fully operational, patients with serious medical conditions will have locations throughout the commonwealth where they can purchase medication to help in their treatment. We remain on track to provide medication to patients in 2018,” Collins said in a prepared statement.
The state will permit a total of 52 dispensaries and allow each of the recipients to set up operations in three locations.
Kruger said Justice Grown focused its attention on obtaining an initial permit. “I’m sure we will be looking at other locations,” she said.
Justice Grown created a board of advisers made up of a number of local business and medical professionals covering “the spectrum of areas” the company will be addressing through its dispensary, Kruger added.
The board members:
• Dr. Robert G. Szulborski, former managing partner of Eye Care Specialists of NEPA, and a board certified ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical treatment of glaucoma.
• Mary Erwine, founder of Erwine Home Health and Hospice.
• Steven M. Greenwald, chief public defender of Luzerne County.
• Dr. Bernard Graham, professor and founding dean of the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy at Wilkes University.
• Paul Lantz, owner and president of A. Rifkin Co. and Hope Uniform & Security Products.