Medical marijuana grower holds town hall in Reading

Franklin Labs to open facility on Centre Avenue

VIDEO: Franklin Labs Holds Town Hall...

READING, Pa. - Franklin Labs, one of two approved medical marijuana growers in Berks County, took part in a town hall Wednesday regarding its planned facility at the former Pepsi bottling plant on Centre Avenue.

"They really answered all the questions as far as security, as far as bringing jobs, as far as the product they are producing," city resident Ernest Schlegel said. "I think it really will help the people in Pennsylvania."

City Councilman Stratton Marmarou attended the town hall a bit apprehensive. He said his mind changed as the presentation progressed.

"I wanted to say, 'Let's wait and see,'" Marmarou said. "I think they're prepared, and they're here to accommodate the public."

Many questions from neighbors dealt with security. A former Pennsylvania State Police lieutenant will be in charge of that.

"The facility has limited access, which is gated," said Berchard Suber, Franklin Labs' security director. "The facility has cameras all around it. Internally, during operating hours, we'll have armed security."

CEO John Pohlhaus explained what will be going on inside one of 12 approved medical marijuana growing facilities in Pennsylvania.

"In order to get up and running as soon as possible, we're going to bring in two 40-foot containers that have lights and electric and HVAC in it," he said.

The marijuana will then be made into the state-approved forms.

"The dispensaries are going to be open December 29, but there's not going to be any product until probably February," Pohlhaus said.

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