What we know about Pittsburgh’s proposed medical marijuana dispensaries

The state is expected to issue permits to open medical marijuana dispensaries and grow/processing facilities next month.

Katheirne Hitt / Flickr
Sarah Anne Hughes

In about a month, Pennsylvania is expected to announce the winners of what essentially amounts to golden tickets: permits to open the state’s first medical marijuana dispensaries and grow/processing facilities.

The Department of Health will issue up to 12 permits for grower/processors and up to 27 permits for dispensaries statewide during the first phase of rollout. Region 5, which includes Allegheny County, will get five of those dispensary permits and two grower/processor permits. DOH is expected to make the announcement in late June, and the program should be up and running by February 2018.

Last month, the state released basic information about 258 applications it had logged as of April 25. The department has received more than 500 application packages, and a DOH spokesperson said a complete list of applicants should be available in the coming weeks.

Of the applications counted so far, 22 are for grower-processor facilities in the Southwest region, and 14 are for dispensaries. The information released by the state only includes the name of the applicant. Some of those names match an LLC on file with the state. Some don’t.

Because of the scarcity of permits, many applicants haven’t gone public with their proposals. But a handful of individuals and groups that are vying to open dispensaries within city limits have. This is what we know about them:


Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 6.47.58 PM

Who: Keystone Integrated Care, which includes Molly Blasier, Russ Cersosimo and Thomas Perko
Where: 5200 Harrison St.
 “We were part of the advocacy that led to the legislation. One thing that Pa. did well was maintain a medical focus,” a representative said at a May meeting with Lawrenceville United, per notes. Read more.

Who: Veteran Jake Voelker of Cannabis Company of Pennsylvania
Where: 5416 Butler St.
Why: “My community of veterans are interested in this and wanted me to do this. I thought about it and decided I do want to undertake,” Voelker said at a November meeting, according to minutes from Lawrenceville United. Read more. Read even more.

North Side

Who: Dr. Shannon Thieroff
Where: 906 Western Ave.
Why: “This is our chance to bring this much needed medicine to people in our area,” Thieroff told The Incline. Read more.

Squirrel Hill

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 6.57.06 PM

Who: Keystone Relief Centers, which includes former Allegheny County Executive Jim Roddey and consultant Mary Del Brady
Where: 3885 Forward Ave.
Why: “We want to be a part of the community and believe that we add something,” Brady told The Incline. Read more.

Strip District

Who: Cresco Yeltrah, “a joint venture between Chicago-based Cresco Labs and Butler-based Yeltrah Cannabis,” the Pittsburgh Business Times reported.
Where: 2112-2116 Penn Ave.
Why: The company’s COO Trent Hartley has children who could benefit from cannabis treatment, according to PBT. Read more.

Know of another proposal? Shoot us an email.