HARRISBURG -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health has announced medical marijuana dispensary permits in 27 locations, including six in our area.
The list of dispensary permits was posted Thursday afternoon.
The state says there will be six facilities in Northeastern and Central permitted to dispense the medical marijuana.
- Columbia Care Pennsylvania, LLC is permitted to open dispensaries at 1790 North Keyser Avenue in Scranton, 765 Kidder Street in Wilkes-Barre, and Route 940 & Kimberly Drive in Blakeslee.
- Justice Grown Pennsylvania, LLC is permitted to open a dispensary in the Gateway Plaza in Edwardsville.
- Keystone Center of Integrative Wellness, LLC is permitted to open a dispensary at 1322 West 4th Street in Williamsport.
- PA Health and Wellness, LLC is permitted to open a dispensary at 2105 North Atherton Street in State College
The state says each will have six months in which to be deemed operational by the Department of Health before it could be ready to sell medical marijuana. The grower/processors also have six months to become operational before they can grow medical marijuana. Dispensaries can only sell medical marijuana grown at a Pennsylvania grower/processor to patients registered in the program.
Each of the 27 dispensary permit holders is eligible to open a total of three locations. Some dispensary permit holders have opted not to open all eligible locations at this time.
The state says 52 dispensaries are expected to open statewide.
A company based in New York plans to open a medical marijuana dispensary in a shopping center on North Keyser Avenue in Scranton.
And two dispensaries are planned for shopping centers in Luzerne County.
Store 7B should not be vacant at the Gateway Shopping Center in Edwardsville for long.
Justice Grown from Illinois expects to open a medical marijuana dispensary there sometime next year.
"Medical marijuana has a purpose. I had a friend that had cancer, and it was painful, and if that could have helped him, I'm all for it," said Wyoming resident Joe Bartell.
The state awarded medical marijuana dispensary permits for six sites in northeastern and central Pennsylvania.
Permits apply to State College in Centre County, Williamsport in Lycoming County, Edwardsville, Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, and Tobyhanna Township in Monroe County.
Dispensaries plan to sell medical marijuana in the form of oils, creams, patches, and pills by prescription only.
At the Keyser Oak Shopping Plaza in Scranton, a company from New York plans to open what will be the first dispensary in Lackawanna County.
"I don't have a problem with it," said Marion Townend of Moosic. "I know a lot of people, families, and friends with health issues it would help."
The dispensaries and the growers that were awarded permits last week have six months to make their facilities ready for business. The head of the Pennsylvania Office of Medical Marijuana says patients should be receiving this medicine next year but he did not say when next year.
The state announced last week the locations of companies permitted to grow medical marijuana.