Medical marijuana dispensary OK'd for Hanover
- A Florida company received a permit to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in Penn Township.
- Knox Medical still needs to submit zoning applications with the township, but it plans to open in November.
- The company is looking to hire at least eight employees at a minimum of $15 per hour.
Hanover soon will be home to York County's first medical marijuana dispensary after the state Department of Health awarded 27 dispensary permits across the state Thursday.
Cansortium Pennsylvania LLC was among the businesses awarded permits, and it will place its primary dispensary at 644-652 Frederick St. in Penn Township, according to its redacted application, which was posted on the department's website.
Each dispensary permit holder may open up to three dispensaries in the region, but each dispensary must be located in a different county, according to the department.
York County is part of a 13-county region that includes Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Lebanon and Perry counties.
Cansortium is registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State with a business address in King of Prussia, but its parent company is Cansortium Holdings LLC, which states on its website that it is located in Coral Gables, Florida.
Adam Sharon, a spokesman for the company, said the dispensary will operate as Knox Medical, a subsidiary of Cansortium that also has permits to operate medical marijuana facilities in Florida, Puerto Rico and Texas.
Sharon said Knox Medical facilities are typically described as modern and sleek, similar to Apple stores.
The company will hire at least eight employees at a minimum of $15 per hour, according to its application.
The application also states that it hasn't submitted zoning applications with the township. Penn Township manager Kristina Rodgers was not immediately available for comment.
Beau Bowden, who lives on Frederick Street in Penn Township, said he's not opposed to the dispensary, but he guessed there would be some pushback by other residents.
"It's going to bring a lot of attention here, and that's a busy street to begin with, but we'll just have to adapt," he said. "I know a lot of good people who will be getting help they need thanks to this."
Bowden said he used to be a medical marijuana card holder when he lived in California, but he would not seek one in Pennsylvania.
The company's timeline — which includes construction, hiring and inspections — estimates that it will open the dispensary in November, though that was under the assumption it would be awarded the permit June 1. Sharon said opening in November is still a realistic possibility.
Other permits: The department awarded four dispensary permits in York County's region, and the other three companies all stated plans in their applications to operate multiple dispensaries.
Dispensaries also will be located in Dauphin, Blair, Lebanon and Adams counties. Lancaster City, in a separate region, is also slated for a dispensary.
A total of 52 dispensaries will be located throughout the state, according to the department.
Sharon said Knox Medical plans to open two other dispensaries in the region, but it hasn't identified where they will be located yet.
Disappointment: Two York-based companies known to be seeking medical marijuana permits were Five-Leaf Remedies Inc. and Viridis Medicine LLC.
Both had applied for grower/processor and dispensary permits, but neither received a permit.
The department announced last week the 12 grower/processor permit winners, and none will be located in York County.
Christina Kauffman, a spokeswoman for Five-Leaf Remedies, said in a text message that her team is disappointed but the commission's selections were expected.
"Their decisions on the earlier decided grower/processor permits demonstrated that our model (a diverse, locally owned benefit corporation that's a start-up) was not what the commission members were seeking," she said.
Five-Leaf's investors had incorporated as a benefit corporation, which is a for-profit company that structures nonprofit giving into its bylaws. Investors had planned to spend more than $2.4 million to renovate a warehouse in York City.
The department scored each applicant based on a variety of factors — including capital requirements, security and community impact — and posted each applicant's score on its website. The maximum score was 1,000.
Cansortium, which also applied for permits in each of the other five regions throughout the state, was given a score of 631. Five-Leaf Remedies received a score of 474, while Viridis scored 581.
The application offered companies seeking permits in multiple regions an option to rank their priorities, and Cansortium ranked York fifth out of the six counties where it applied.
Sharon said he was not aware of why the company had placed a higher priority on other potential locations.
The two companies awarded grower/processor permits in York's region, AES Compassion Care LLC and Ilera Healthcare LLC, both also were awarded dispensary permits but in a different region.