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Cannabis dispensaries set to open in Steelton, Carlisle

York facility is next on list

Medical marijuana dispensaries are slated to open next week in Steelton and Carlisle under a partnership between two companies active in Pennsylvania’s fledgling market.

The Steelton dispensary, known as RISE Steelton, is scheduled to hold a grand opening April 30 and will open to patients on May 3. It is located at 801 S. Front St.

The Carlisle-area dispensary, RISE Carlisle, is located at 872 Harrisburg Pike in North Middleton Township. A grand opening is slated for May 3, followed by an opening for patients on May 5, said Tim Hawkins, Pennsylvania market president for Green Thumb Industries Inc., one of the two companies involved in the dispensaries. The other is KW Ventures Holdings.

The grand openings allow the general public inside, Hawkins said. Once the dispensaries are stocked with medical marijuana products, only patients can enter.

A third RISE dispensary is in the works for York County, but a timetable is still being worked out, Hawkins said.

Each dispensary will employ about 15 full- and part-time workers, Hawkins said, including a medical professional at each site, as required under state law. The Steelton dispensary will employ a full-time pharmacist, while the Carlisle-area location is staffed by a registered nurse.

The dispensaries will initially be stocked with vape pens and cartridges, Hawkins said. But as more growers ramp up in Pennsylvania, other products will be added, including topicals and concentrates.

A name change

Permits for the dispensaries are held by KW Ventures, which initially planned to open them under the name Firefly Dispensaries. But over the last few months, it partnered with Green Thumb and adopted a new brand, Hawkins said.

Under the partnership, Green Thumb provided a line of credit to KW and is consulting with KW on operating the dispensaries, Hawkins said. Based in Chicago, Green Thumb has permits for dispensaries in northwestern Pennsylvania, and also does business in Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Nevada. Green Thumb also has a grower/processor operation in Danville.

“Our alliance with GTI and the RISE brand brings scalability, defined roadmaps, strong leadership and a track record of success, philanthropy, quality medicines and unparalleled service to the patients of Pennsylvania,” KW Ventures managing partner Jonathan Gusdorff said in a statement. The firm is based in the Philadelphia suburb of Havertown, according to state records.

The RISE name, which Green Thumb also uses in other states, reflects the company’s goals, Hawkins said. “We’re providing alternative medicine for people who need it, and it’s about both inspiring and uplifting the communities that we are in and the patients that we serve.”

Green Thumb, Hawkins added, has not decided on whether to apply for additional permits for medical marijuana facilities in Pennsylvania.

Steelton officials, meanwhile, are embracing the dispensary as a sign of economic growth for the borough.

“Since 2015, we have worked to foster a progressive attitude toward new and emerging industries including passing one of the first medical marijuana zoning ordinances in the state,” Borough Manager Doug Brown said in a statement. “RISE is the beginning of just that: Steelton’s rise at the forefront of a new industry.”

Joel Berg
Joel Berg is editor of the Central Penn Business Journal. Born in Philadelphia, raised in Northern Virginia and now living in York, he's a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College and the University of Maryland. Have a question or story idea? Email him at jberg@cpbj.com.

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