Reading medical marijuana grow-house looking to sell license

READING, Pa. - A medical marijuana grower that slated to set up shop in Reading said it's future home on Centre Avenue may be up for sale. 

After winning a highly-sought-after growing permit from Pennsylvania in July, Franklin Labs will now be listening to offers. It's surprising news for neighbors expecting the company to move in.

"If it's going to help people, save lives, that's a good thing," said resident Robert Melendez.

"No matter what's there, it really doesn't matter as long as there's employees and the building is maintained," said Earl Dunkelberger, owner of nearby Mike's Sandwich Shop. "It's always good to have someone in the building because you're going to have employees."

​Plenty still has to be fleshed out. Franklin Labs said its focus is on researching medical marijuana. The company said rules for a special clinical research license weren't finalized by the time it submitted an application for a growing permit. The company won the growing permit, but rules for the research license still have not been finalized. 

"To ensure compliance with any final rule, which may not allow a single entity to own or operate two grower/processor permits, Franklin Labs has begun to explore the potential for divesting ownership of its current license," the company said in a statement Thursday. "This is only a contingency plan pending the final rule.​"

The center is in city Councilwoman Donna Reed's district. She said, after speaking with company officials, she's confident the original sale will go through.

"[They have] given me his assurances that there will always be a Reading presence," said Reed. "I do believe it will be at this facility."

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