Center City to get its first marijuana dispensary

Medical marijuana retailers have sprouted across the state since February, dispensing cannabis to thousands of patients with 17 qualifying health conditions.

But Philadelphia, the state’s most populous municipality, has yet to see a single dispensary open within the city limits.

That should change in the coming months with at least four shops on the horizon.

“The opening of medical cannabis dispensaries in Philadelphia will make critical treatments more accessible to patients in need,” Mayor Kenney said in a statement. “The program is also creating attractive jobs and the resulting tax revenue will fund important programs that improve our city and Commonwealth.”

Beyond/Hello, an Abington-based company financed by a big Denver marijuana group, announced Wednesday that it will be the first to open a dispensary in Center City.

The shop is slated for the 1200 block of Sansom Street, a few doors to the east of Fergie’s Pub. However Beyond/Hello won’t begin serving patients until construction is complete, and that won’t be until the fall.

Fishtown will get the city’s first dispensary in late May. Restore Integrative Wellness Centers will open on the 900 block of Frankford Avenue, across from the Fillmore Philadelphia concert hall.

In Northeast Philadelphia’s Bustleton neighborhood, Holistic Pharma expects to open in June at Krewstown Road near Bloomfield Avenue. In South Philadelphia, Keystone Shops has plans for a dispensary within sight of the stadium complex, on the 300 block of Packer Avenue.

Zoning and neighborhood opposition stalled — and later shut down — locations in the Northeast and Mount Airy.

A plan to open a Pharmacann dispensary near Philadelphia Mills shopping center was challenged in federal court by the mall’s owner. Pharmacann withdrew from the location rather than fight a costly battle that could have imperiled the state’s medical marijuana program.

TerraVida Holistic Centers canceled plans for a location in East Mount Airy after local politicians and neighbors sought to overturn its zoning permit. The state granted permission for TerraVida to relocate the shop to Malvern.