York County's first medical marijuana dispensary planning pre-summer opening

David Weissman
York Dispatch
Cam Martin, associate director of retail operations for Knox Medical, York County's first medical marijuana dispensary, gives a tour of the facility in Hanover to the media, Monday, March 19, 2018. John A. Pavoncello photo

York County's first medical marijuana dispensary is hoping to cultivate a close relationship with its customers and community.

Knox Medical, at 648 Frederick St. in Penn Township, has received final approval from the state Department of Health to open, but the company still has a few steps to complete before it's ready.

Step one: Hire some employees.

The dispensary hosted a job fair at its facility Tuesday, March 20, and is  looking to hire six to 12 people, preferably locals, according to Cam Martin, associate director of retail operations.

More:Medical marijuana dispensary in Penn Twp. approved to open

More:Legal medical marijuana sales begin in Pennsylvania

Available positions include general manager — which must be filled by a licensed physician or pharmacist, per state law — assistant manager and customer experience specialists.

Step two: Find a supplier.

Knox Medical has medical marijuana facilities in Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico, but at those locations, they're also able to grow and process their product.

The company applied for a grower/processer permit in Pennsylvania, but the state only handed out 12 such permits, with the closest locations to York being in Berks and Franklin counties.

Martin said the company is most focused on finding a supplier that performs CO2 extraction, which they believe provides the healthiest, highest-quality products.

Knox Medical hasn't yet set an  opening date, but Martin said the business is committed to opening before this summer.

Martin added that the supplier also will help determine the pricing of their products. In Orlando, where Martin is based, the cost of cannabis oil is about 15 cents per milligram, he said.

A 2016 state law restricts the drug to pills, oils, vapor or liquid marijuana. It is not allowed to be in smokable form or as what are considered to be edibles.

Pennsylvania allows medical marijuana for those with any of 17 qualifying conditions, including AIDS, autism, cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and Crohn’s disease.

Showing reporters around the facility Monday, March 19, Martin touted the company's emphasis on security and patient comfort.

An armed security guard is in the facility as long as employees are present, and cameras are posted throughout the building, he said.

When a patient arrives, they must ring a bell before being allowed in and then show their medical marijuana card before being allowed into the atrium or private consultation room to discuss their needs.

All employees will undergo extensive in-house training to ensure compassion and knowledge of the products, Martin said.

Scott Klenet, a spokesman for the company, added that Knox Medical will be joining the local Chamber of Commerce and pursuing opportunities to be involved in the community whenever possible.

— Reach David Weissman at dweissman@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid.