State issues license for 2nd medical marijuana grow site in Luzerne County

A company affiliated with a medical marijuana dispensary in Edwardsville has received a grower/processor permit as part of the state’s expansion of the program.

The Justice Grown Cultivation and Processing Center planned for the Humboldt Industrial Park in Hazle Township will be the second facility to grow marijuana and supply it to licensed dispensaries throughout the state. Pier Cove LLC of Chicago, Ill., applied for the permit with the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Abbe Kruger, CEO of Justice Grown Pennsylvania, which operates a dispensary in the Gateway Shopping Center, said her site will be able to obtain medical marijuana from the new Hazleton-area operation. Both business entities are part of Chicago-based Justice Grown.

Kruger said parent firm Justice Grown has indoor and outdoor growing facilities in California and Illinois. She estimated the local facility could be operational in six to 12 months.

Justice Grown will join Standard Farms LLC in White Haven as a permit holder. Standard Farms received one of the 12 grower/processor permits issued last year during the program’s rollout.

The number of facilities will double in Lackawanna County as well. PharmaCann Penn Plant LLC recently received a permit to set up a growing and processing facility in Olyphant. Last year, the state gave the go-ahead to Pennsylvania Medical Solutions LLC in Scranton.

The expansion builds on the first phase that set up a framework to provide patients access to medical marijuana, said state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine.

“In this next phase, Phase II, we are fully implementing the program to expand access to this medication to every part of the state,” Levine said in a prepared statement.

The expansion marked another development in the Medical Marijuana Program signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf in April 2016. The state’s Office of Medical Marijuana said it has registered more than 52,000 patients to participate. Meanwhile, more than 1,000 doctors have registered for it and more than 700 of them have been approved as practitioners to certify patients for treatment of the 21 serious medical conditions listed in the law. Patients can purchase medical marijuana in oils, pills, topical ointments and other forms.

Beginning Wednesday, the dry leaf form will be available at 16 dispensaries, including Columbia Care’s dispensary on North Keyser Avenue in Scranton. Patients must vaporize the dry leaf that will not be sold for smoking.

Justice Grown Pennsylvania will be among the 12 remaining dispensaries to have dry leaf Aug. 8.

Kruger Aimee Dilger | Times Leader
Pa. issues license for Hazle Twp. operation

By Jerry Lynott

Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.

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