In a large, high-ceilinged room with patterned wood flooring, a wall-size mural at one end and glass cases at the other, Restore Integrative Wellness Center launched its third medical marijuana dispensary in Pennsylvania Monday, holding an open house at the new Plumstead location.
The North Easton Road dispensary opens to the public Oct. 14.
Rob Stanley, who co-manages the Restore businesses with Becky Koval, said the new facility will better serve patients in the region who have been traveling from Bucks County to the Philadelphia and Elkins Park locations.
“A lot of folks have had to drive a long way,” said Stanley. “This location will make it easier for them.”
The dispensary, marked by a bright green cross on the Easton Road side of the building, will be staffed with pharmacists and trained technicians to help patients, who must have a medical marijuana card from their doctor, Koval said. “We are very patient-focused,” she added.
“Our mission is to be a dependable, trustworthy and cost-competitive source of medical marijuana where state-eligible patients can integrate this medicine into their plan of care,” reads a statement from the privately owned company.
Lori and Drew Miller, of Richboro, attended the open house. Drew, 41, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, said medical marijuana has dramatically improved his quality of life.
“Without it,” he said, “I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed.”
Before it was legalized in Pennsylvania, Drew Miller said he bought marijuana “off the street,” not knowing what might be in it. He also used opioids to ease his chronic pain. “I used it all and just got sicker,” he said. Now, he said, he has much greater confidence in what he’s taking.
His wife, Lori, 41, has irritable bowel syndrome. She said she lost 50 pounds and was unable to eat or sleep and was constantly in pain. Medical marijuana, she explained, has been a great benefit.
With the medication not covered by insurance, the couple said they spent nearly $20,000 last year on medical marijuana,
State Rep. Wendy Ullman (D-143rd) visited the dispensary. She said her constituents are “overwhelmingly supportive “ of Restore coming to the community.
“It provides an alternative,” for health care, said the lawmaker. “It can benefit seniors and improve their quality of life.”
Discussing the high cost and lack of insurance coverage, Ullman said, it will be a “game-changer” when federal law legalizes the drug. “Prices will come down and it can become part of Medicare coverage.”
Stanley and Koval said Restore plans to hold educational meetings and community outreach programs about medical marijuana in the coming months.