Cannabis company PharmaCann Inc. plans to open a Verilife medical marijuana dispensary at the former Home D Pizzeria location in College Township by the end of the year.
The company is currently working to begin rehabilitation and construction of the building at 1820 S. Atherton St. after it receives final permit approvals from township officials.
PharmaCann Government and Regulatory Affairs Associate Brandon Nemec told The Gazette by email, “following this improvement project, we will work towards our state regulatory approvals and inspection. Our current goal is to begin serving medical patients at the Verilife State College dispensary in November of 2021.”
Home D Pizzeria closed its doors permanently on June 20 after 67 years in business. Home D owners had been trying to lease a portion of the South Atherton Street building while maintaining the restaurant in a downsized space for more than a year. But, according to a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page, as a deal was being finalized the new tenant’s “needs increased, and they ended up needing and leasing the entire building.”
Chicago based PharmaCann Inc. was founded in 2014 and is the parent company to Verilife dispensaries. Verilife currently has four operational dispensaries throughout Pennsylvania located in Manayunk-Philadelphia, Shamokin, Chester and Williamsport. It is licensed to grow, process and/or dispense medical cannabis products in six states.
The company received a zoning use permit for the location from College Township in May.
Zoning officer Mark Gabrovsek said College Township zoning treats medical marijuana facilities no different than any other retail business.
The township has received no formal plans for the build out as of July 9, according to Gabrovsek.
Nemec said that once operational, Verilife will employ approximately 25 to 30 employees. He added that the positions include living-wage, full-time positions with benefits, such as management, asset protection, security specialists and patient care representatives.
“In the central PA region, we see a prime opportunity within the local workforce to recruit talent for our dispensary positions, and make it a priority to hire locally. Positions will be filled on a rolling basis leading up to our opening date. We encourage interested applicants to apply online at www.pharmacann.com,” Nemec said.
He said the company saw an opportunity in State College to invest in the ever-growing medical marijuana industry in Pennsylvania.
“Verilife simply saw a tremendous opportunity to revitalize this location within the local State College business community and provide an additional access point for medical patients in the greater central Pennsylvania region,” Nemec said.
“Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis market continues to expand. According to the PA Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, nearly 600,000 patients and caregivers are now registered with the program. With this growing demand, we are working to bring high-quality, high-consistency cannabis products to patients in central Pennsylvania to aid in their treatments.”
This will be the Centre Region’s second medical marijuana dispensary. Nature’s Medicines opened a dispensary at 2105 N. Atherton St. in 2018.
This story appears in the July 15-21 edition of The Centre County Gazette.