Medical marijuana grower/processor approved for Lebanon

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Within the next two years, Lebanon County will become home to one of the nation’s most popular new cash crops – marijuana.

Announced this week by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, a new grower/processor, WP Health Foundry, is now permitted to begin pursuing its business. Lebanon received one of the two permits available to the southcentral region, the other going to Green Leaf Medicals in Saxton, PA.

This is the second time Philadelphia has been shut out. Other permits went to Pottsville, Chester City, Luzerne County, Lackawanna County, Shamokin, Pittsburgh, Johnstown, Erie, and Mercer County.

Owned by Whole Plants LLC based outside of Pittsburgh, the team submitted a thorough application to the state, including information about their planned executive and operations teams is included. Among the principals is Pittsburgh Steelers guard David DeCastro.

In addition to the board and corporate teams, there will be at least a couple dozen other jobs associated with the location, including a senior farm manager, a plant/soil/nutrient manager, farmers, technicians, and other roles.

According to the business plan attached to the application, cannabis grow sites could be located at 100 North Harris Street in Cleona, on a 5 year lease with extensions, as well as 1507 Willow Street, which the company said it had signed an agreement to purchase.

However, the DOH spreadsheet lists 113 N. 8th Avenue as the address – that is the site of the Cocoa Mulch Building, built in 1940 and available for rent at $64,000/month (or about the average annual household income in that part of Lebanon).

It’s not yet clear if the company will be operating out of one, some, or all of the sites mentioned above.

Much of the document is redacted, but the company’s diversity plan and community outreach plan are both included.

Inside of the Coca Mulch Building.
  • For the operating staff of sixteen, the company has committed to hiring at least six women, six veterans, and ten minorities.
  • For the supervisory staff of twelve, four women, four veterans, and four minorities.
  • For the corporate side of nine, five women, three veterans, and four minorities.

Across the state of Pennsylvania, nine of the twelve initial processors are already operation, and there are 29 dispensaries as of today. With the 13 new permits in round 2, there will now be 25 grower/processors across the commonwealth.

We have had a very positive response for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania

Dr. Rachel Levine, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, 

Levine described medical marijuana as another tool in the toolbox, for diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s, IBS, and more chronic illnesses. Nearly 50,000 Pennsylvanians have signed up for the medical marijuana program, which includes “dry leaf” marijuana as of this week. More information is available on the State’s medical marijuana website.

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