Bucks County Herald

Medical marijuana dispensary to open in Sellersville

CHRIS RUVO



Artist’s rendering of renovated building for a marijuana dispensary.

A medical marijuana dispensary plans to open in Sellersville by early February, a principal at the business said this week.

TerraVida Holistic Center had initially targeted an end-of-December opening, but the date had to be pushed back, in part, because cannabis won’t be obtainable by month’s end.

“Only three growers have started to grow and therefore the product will not be available until mid-February,” said Chris Visco, president of TerraVida.

In the meantime, TerraVida is pressing ahead with renovating its planned facility, which is on North Main Street by the Sellersville Fire Department.

The business has building permits and is completing demolition, Visco said. Renovation figures to be fairly extensive, including an entirely new HVAC system, commercial-grade secure interiors, and a new ADA ramp to move the entrance to the side of the building coming from the parking lot.

“Our business is highly regulated so much of the interior construction is dictated by the security protocol,” said Visco.

Even so, there will be extensive millwork as TerraVida strives to create a holistic spa environment – an ambiance it aims to accentuate with the aid of natural materials, including wood and stone design, as well as a waterfall.

“The building should be completed by Feb. 1,” said Visco.

When doors open, TerraVida will have a pharmacist on staff in addition to a cannabis expert, security guard and administrators. “Once we have a fully matured business, we should be employing 18-20 people at this location,” Visco said.

That fully mature business could eventually be serving up to a couple hundred patients per week. “By the end of 2018, we anticipate seeing 30 to 40 patients a day,” said Visco.

Visco and business partner Adina Birnbaum have sought to dispel what they said are potential misconceptions about their business.

In an interview over the summer, they stressed that they will be selling cannabis products like oils, lotions and concentrates strictly to people with qualified medical conditions who have received a doctor’s prescription and a state-issued medical cannabis identification card. Also, cannabis will not be available in leaf form.

There will be at least one security guard present 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Visco has said.

Security cameras will carefully monitor the property, and patients will have to be buzzed into the lobby and other areas of the building through locked doors. Admittance will only be granted after a patient displays forms of identification that include the medical marijuana card.

Visco said TerraVida is excited to begin operations and prove itself a good neighbor in the Sellersville community.

“We look forward to supporting community initiatives, and anticipate considerable economic growth to other local businesses in Sellersville and surrounding areas as our patients discover these beautiful, unique business districts,” he said.

Gov. Tom Wolfe signed Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act into law in April last year. Under the law, people suffering from a range of qualified medical conditions – from cancer and HIV/AIDS, to chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin – will be able to obtain a prescription for medical cannabis through a physician. Recreational marijuana remains illegal under state law.

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