Medical marijuana dispensary set to open in Pottsville in September

Christine Lee, Republican & Herald, Pottsville, Pa.
·3 min read

Mar. 30—POTTSVILLE — The planned medical marijuana dispensary in the Schuylkill Trust Co. building is scheduled to open this fall.

Michael Perlman, executive vice president of investor relations and treasury for Jushi Holdings Inc., said the company expects to open the facility on the first floor of the building at 101 N. Centre St. by the end of September.

The dispensary, which will operate under the name Beyond/Hello, will have medical marijuana as well as cartridges, flowers, concentrates, topicals, tinctures and merchandise such as bandanas, T-shirts, hoodies and face masks. He said that the company is in the construction phase of the project and getting the store's interior ready. Customers will be able to pre-order items online and pick them up in store.

"We're planning to have a specific brand and feel to the store," Perlman said Monday.

Construction had been delayed, he said, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Tom Wolf ordered most construction projects halted last spring to curb the virus' spread and they resumed in late spring.

City Administrator Thomas A. Palamar said Jushi, based in Boca Raton, Florida, received a building permit for construction of the first floor a year ago, that has since expired.

He added that the company and its engineering firm have worked with Code Officer Justin Trefsger and he anticipates they will apply for a new permit in the near future.

The permit, Palamar said, only covers construction on the building's ground floor, with the other floors slated for a future project by Jushi.

"If work is done on the first floor, I expect it will continue on the upper floors," he said.

Palamar said that as long as the company makes an effort to revitalize the vacant building, city officials will work with them.

The state Department of Health issued a medical marijuana dispensary permit for the property to Agape Total Health Care Inc. in late 2018 before Agape was acquired by Jushi in 2019. Jushi Pa LLC has been the eight-story building's owner since March 2019, purchasing it from the Hassen Group.

Wells Fargo bank previously occupied the building's first floor until moving out in 2017 over problems with the 97-year-old structure's façade. Palamar said the building was a property of concern for the city as it was vacant for years and showing signs of neglect, which led to the bank leaving the building.

The building's longtime previous owner, James J. Curran Jr., an attorney and president of Pottsville-based Schuylkill Land & Realty Inc., did not pay taxes on the property and received numerous citations for it.

Perlman said the company has invested to ensure the building is safe for both employees and medical marijuana patients.

Palamar said Jushi is aware of any past code problems. He added that a larger company purchasing a large building is a good sign for the city.

"The trick with these properties is getting someone responsible to get involved and that seems to be the case with the Schuylkill Trust building," Palamar said.

Contact the writer: clee@republicanherald.com; 570-628-6028; @Cleespot on Twitter