MCKEESPORT (KDKA) — People hoping to work at the new Pure Penn dispensary in McKeesport turned out in big numbers Thursday after crews broke ground at the site.

It may be ceremonial, but shovels in the ground in McKeesport mark the beginning of the medicinal cannabis business in the Mon Valley.

Gabe Perlow, PurePenn’s CEO, was on hand for the groundbreaking.

“We put in a ton of work over the last year to make this possible,” Perlow said, “and now that we’re here we’re going to deliver a first class division one quality facility by the December deadline.”

The 5-acre site will be home to Pure Penn’s 2,100-square-foot production plant that will produce medicinal products that will be available by prescriptions to treat a variety of illnesses — from cancer, sickle cell, seizure disorders and much more.

Joseph McGurk and his wife lobbied for medicinal cannabis on behalf of their daughters. They were on hand for the celebration Thursday.

“There’s going to be a facility here growing medicine that will change lives,” McGurk said. “Not just my girls’ lives, but millions of Pennsylvanians can benefit from the medicinal qualities of cannabis.”

The facility will produce oils, ointments and cannabis pills, and, for this region, that means employment. Pure Penn’s website has a list of possible positions, and a job fair Thursday afternoon attracted hundreds.

“I will take anything as, like, a trimmer to something like sales,” Sara Michaels said. “I’m just excited to try to get into this industry because I do have a medical background.”

Bobby Boyd hopes to get any job.

“Anything available that sounds good I’m willing to apply for,” he said.

Online applications will be available at starting Friday at 8 a.m.

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