Permits awarded for 2 medical marijuana dispensaries in Berks

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Medical marijuana patients will be able to obtain the drug from two locations in Berks County.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Thursday disclosed the 27 entities that can each operate three locations, although some are opting not to run three sites.

Two of those entities are each planning to operate a dispensary on the Fifth Street Highway in Muhlenberg Township, according to the health department.

SMPB Retail will run Harvest of Reading at 2710 North Fifth Street Highway; Franklin Bioscience - Penn LLC will operate one of its two dispensaries -- Reading Dispensary -- at 3225 North Fifth Street Highway.

"This has been a highly competitive process and the department received hundreds of quality applications," said John Collins, the director of the office of medical marijuana. "Once this program is fully operational, patients with serious medical conditions will have locations throughout the commonwealth where they can purchase medication to help in their treatment. We remain on track to provide medication to patients in 2018."

Last week, the state awarded two of 12 permits for the growing and processing of medical marijuana to companies in Berks County.

Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania will be located at 2 Corporate Boulevard in South Heidelberg Township, and Franklin Labs will occupy the former Pepsi plant at 1800 Centre Avenue in Reading.

The Pennsylvania medical marijuana law allows people who suffer from a list of conditions to obtain the drug in pill, vapor, ointment or liquid form.

The state expects patients and caregivers to be able to register in September.

The program is projected to be up and running sometime next year.

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