PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A medical marijuana dispensary in Butler County made their first sale Thursday morning.
In fact, it was the first legal sale of medical marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania.
Cresco Yeltrah owns the CY+ Medical Marijuana Dispensary in Butler. However, they also operate a cultivation facility in Brookville.
“This is a culmination of over a year’s worth of work from the application process to then receiving the license and then really moving forward with developing the project doing construction. We’re on both sides of this. We’re vertically integrated in Pennsylvania. So we’re a grower, a processor and a dispensary, a lot of work but it’s great to cross the finish line here,” Cresco Yeltrah co-founder Charlie Bachtell said.
Diana Briggs was the first medical marijuana customer to make a purchase at the CY+ medical marijuana dispensary in Butler. She walked out of the building with a smile on her face.
“This is a journey. I never thought I’d be standing here today,” said Briggs. “I cried the whole way here today, for all of the hopelessness we went through for four years.”
Briggs is a caregiver for her son, Ryan, who has epilepsy. She fought for Pennsylvania to allow legal medical marijuana purchases.
“There’s no more fear, no more stress for our family,” Briggs said, as she recalled having to transport medical marijuana in the state for her son. The dispensary in Butler means she doesn’t have to do that anymore.
About a dozen people stood in line outside the facility Thursday morning, waiting to make purchases. Patients who meet one of 17 qualifying conditions, and their caregivers who have medical marijuana cards are the only ones allowed in the facility.
“Medical cannabis…it’s an interesting topic,” said Charlie Bachtell, one of the co-founders of Creco Yeltrah. “You have to remember that these programs are established for the benefits of sick patients in these states.”
Cresco Yeltrah offers qualifying patients more than 100 medical marijuana products. In addition to the CY+ dispensary, they also have a cultivating facility, meaning they grow, manufacture and sell their products to qualifying patients.
“We just wanted a quality of life for my son and to now be giving that to him, I can’t tell you what that means as a parent,” Briggs said.
The CY+ dispensary will be open Monday through Saturday. Patients can schedule appointments. Beginning next week, walk-ins will also be accepted.
With a marijuana card, and your ID in hand, you’ll enter the CY+ dispensary customer waiting room with tablets filled with information while patents wait. You’ll then go into a consultation room to meet with the medical professionals on staff to choose the appropriate medication. Then across the room, you’ll find the “pharmacy” where your order will be filled.
“There’s a very robust compliance and tracking system that literally covers in this program everything from the seedling through the development of the products all the way through inventory here to the transaction to the patient. There’s a similar process on the patient side. Everything is tracked through the state system. It’s tied to the individual patient themselves it records how much product is available to them on a monthly basis and how much they’ve purchased to date. It’s a checking in process, it’s a point of sale automation process that tracks how much they purchase and it records it so for future purchases it goes against their monthly allotment,” Bachtell said.
A dispensary is also opening in Squirrel Hill.
KDKA’s John Shumway reports —
Crowds lined up outside Solevo Wellness for something they haven’t found in conventional medications. Matching up the right form of medical marijuana with a patient’s needs is what the dispensaries are all about.
You won’t find buds, leaves and joints at Solevo Wellness. The dispensaries are far from head shops.
“Every patient that comes in will see a pharmacist first,” Solevo Wellness COO Sam Britz said.
Before that, they had to see a doctor, prove they had one of the seventeen recognized ailments and get a state medical marijuana card.
“You gotta do, like, one, two, three, four steps,” Jeff Krieger, of Banksville, said. “You have to jump through the hoops, you know.”
But the patients say it’s worth it.
Eventually, Cresco Yeltrah will open one in the Strip District on Penn Avenue.