More than two months after Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana growers harvested their first crops, Philadelphia still lacks an operational dispensary.
The state granted permits last year to five retailers to sell legal cannabis in the city. But lawsuits, protests, and construction issues — as well as concerns about the number of registered patients — have delayed their openings.
Although three dispensaries have opened in the suburbs, Philadelphia won’t get its first retailer until late May, when Restore Integrative Wellness is scheduled to open in Fishtown.
Neighborhood opposition derailed two of the retailers — one that had been planned near Philadelphia Mills in Northeast Philadelphia and another inside a former bank in East Mount Airy.
Pharmacann pulled the plug on opening next to Philadelphia Mills, near I-95. The shopping center had filed suit in federal court, claiming that deed restrictions on the $1.1 million property banned a “drug store” from occupying the property.
The case was set to become a flashpoint in the clash between federal law, which outlaws all cannabis, and medicinal marijuana programs operating in 29 states and the District of Columbia.