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Karen Diller discusses how medical marijuana helped reduce her daughter, Karly’s, seizures by about 70 percent during clinical trials at a New York hospital.
Vicky Taylor, Public Opinion

HARRISBURG – The first two growers producing medical marijuana for southcentral Pennsylvania will be located in Franklin and Fulton counties.

The state Department of Health on Tuesday chose 12 companies to grow medical marijuana in Pennsylvania — two in each of the six regions.

The growing houses in the local region are AES Compassionate Care in Chambersburg and Ilera Healthcare in Taylor Township, Fulton County.

READ: Medical marijuana grower drops local plan

Both applicants did not publicize their proposals prior to the announcement. Little is known about them. The health department is preparing redacted applications to release to the public, according to department spokeswoman April Hutcheson.

AES will operate Grassroots Cannabis at 1086 Wayne Avenue in Chambersburg. The vacant building, owned by the Franklin County Area Development Corp., sits on 11 acres beside Interstate 81 at Exit 14.

The Ilera growing facility will be located at 3786 North Hess Road, Waterfall, near Exit 180 (Fort Littleton) of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

The winners have six months to get their facilities up and running and inspected by the department, Hutcheson said.

The Greenhouse Group has agreed to buy the building on Wayne Avenue, according to FCADC President Michael Ross.

“These folks are good at what they do,” Ross said. “We are confident in them. Because of their past experience of having secured licenses in other states, they seem to understand the process and were optimistic of their chances from the beginning. I think this will be a well-run operation.”

READ: Giant wants to sell beer and wine in Chambersburg

The group grows medical marijuana in Maryland, Nevada and Illinois, Ross said.

FCADC is asking $3.7 million for the building, the price FCADC paid for it in 2013, Ross said. FCADC bought the 74,000 square foot building from Bwise Manufacturing and offered Bwise a long-term lease to help the company grow. Bwise has moved to a nearby building, the former James River plant, and plans to eventually buy that property.

The fate of a medical cannabis dispensary in Chambersburg is unknown at this time. Viridis Medicine LLC of York was turned down for a growing permit in York County. Viridis also applied for a permit to sell medical marijuana on Wayne Avenue in Chambersburg. The company held a public meeting in February about the proposal.

Later this month the state will issue dispensary permits, said state official John Collins.

The 13-county south-central region includes Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin, Lebanon and Perry counties. The department received 29 for grower/processor applications in the region.

The department turned down a second Fulton County proposal. Jim Delaplaine, a partner in JD Meds, had proposed a growing operation in the Fulton County Business Park, Ayr Township.

“They thought they provided an excellent plan to the Department of Health,” said JD Meds spokesman Kevin Harley of Quantum Communications, Harrisburg. “They’re going to weigh their options and decide what to do for the next round.”

Delaplaine lives in Taylor Township where he owns the Hustontown Market. He is not associated with Ilera, Harley said.

The other 10 winners in the first round for growing permits were:

  • Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania LLC
  • Franklin Labs LLC
  • Pennsylvania Medical Solutions LLC
  • Standard Farms LLC
  • Terrapin INvestment Fund 1 LLC
  • GTI Pennsylvania LLC
  • AgriMED Industries of PA LLC
  • PurePenn LLC
  • Holistic Farms LLC
  • Cresco Yeltrah LLC.

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