York County welcomes second medical marijuana dispensary

Renovations are underway at York County’s second medical marijuana dispensary, which is expected to open this summer at 4395 W. Market St. in West Manchester Township.

The dispensary is slated to open on the site of a building formerly used by Yorktown Pools and is now scheduled for demolition, starting this week.

The dispensary will be known as RISE York and will be operated by KW Ventures Holdings LLC, said Jonathan Gusdorff, managing partner for KW, which is based in the Philadelphia suburb of Havertown.

KW initially planned to open its dispensaries under the name Firefly Dispensaries, but after partnering with Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries, a new brand name – RISE – was adopted. 

The organization intended on opening locations in Steelton, Carlisle and Chambersburg, but because of real estate issues at the Chambersburg location, KW shifted to York. RISE Steelton and RISE Carlisle dispensaries are already up and running.

“York County ended up being a very a good fit,” Gusdorff said, adding that a real estate developer reached out to KW to proposing the West Market Street location. “We think the city is the right size and as a physician, I was pleased that there are two hospitals … We think we can really help the community.”

As defined by the Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program, a “serious medical condition” is defined as any one of the following:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Autism
  • Cancer, including remission therapy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system (brain-spinal cord) with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, and other associated neuropathies
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
  • Epilepsy Glaucoma
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intractable seizures
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuropathies
  • Opioid-use disorder for which conventional therapeutic interventions are contraindicated or ineffective, or for which adjunctive therapy is indicated in combination with primary therapeutic interventions
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Terminal illness

Gusdorff said the dispensary could offer another tool in combating some of the county’s challenges related to the opioid epidemic. Medical marijuana has been approved for treatment in opioid-use disorder, which is one of the conditions approved by the state for treatment with medical marijuana. 

“In the medical marijuana environment, we can really make a difference and help these patients that haven’t found a solution elsewhere,” he said. “I truly believe most opioid-addicted patients want to get off opioids.”

The dispensary is looking to hire about a dozen full- and part-time employees before its summer opening.

York County’s first dispensary, Knox Medical, opened for business at 648 Frederick St. in Penn Township earlier this month. The building was formerly home to Buona Fortuna Pasta & Pizza Italian Ristorante.

The Hanover dispensary is the eighth for the Florida-based company. Knox medical also provides medical marijuana services in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico.

The group hosted a job fair in March and more than 100 people applied for 12 job openings, said Scott Klenet, a spokesperson for Knox Medical. In the coming months, he expects the company will hire more employees based on demand.


Emily Thurlow
​Emily Thurlow covers York County​ for the Central Penn Business Journal. Have a tip? Drop her a line at ethurlow@cpbj.com.

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