South Philly is getting a medical marijuana dispensary

Herbology also plans to offer yoga, meditation and cooking classes.

Patients will soon be able to get medical marijuana in South Philly.

Patients will soon be able to get medical marijuana in South Philly.

Andy Colwell / For Billy Penn
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Update, Oct. 31: Herbology’s summer launch didn’t pan out, but the grand opening is now set for Friday, Nov. 2.

A month after Philly’s first medical marijuana dispensary began welcoming customers in Fishtown, another one has announced plans to open before summer’s end.

Herbology, a Chicago-based dispensary operation, has acquired a storefront on East Passyunk just below Washington Avenue, about a block and a half east of the Italian Market.

Sarah Locklund, Herbology’s manager of education and outreach, expects the operation will open its doors some time in August. The company is waiting to secure some farmland in Chambersburg, Pa., she said (legally, you have to grow the weed in the same state you’re selling it).

Gov. Tom Wolf signed Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law in April 2016. Since then, the rollout has been slow going. It took two years for the city’s first medical marijuana dispensary to open.

“We’ve been trying to spread to different cities and states around the country,” Locklund told Billy Penn. “Pennsylvania is huge, and there’s a ton of potential in this market.”

Herbology plans to offer a variety of services out of its location at 1125-27 E. Passyunk Ave. There will be medical marijuana products, obviously, but also a wellness center that offers holistic programming like yoga, meditation and cooking classes.

After the dispensary gains some momentum, Locklund hopes to expand. She wants the center to offer exit treatment programming for opioid addiction. She also hopes she’ll be able to recruit patients to host their own support groups for people with different conditions, like chronic pain.

“It would be run by a patient who has the condition, and they’re super enthusiastic about what cannabis has done for them,” Locklund said.

In advance of the grand opening, Locklund has been doing outreach. She’s hosted small info sessions in coffee shops, she said, and connected with a local civic association to help them feel comfortable with the new facility.

Every Wednesday, Locklund sets up a table at the Fountain Farmers Market on East Passyunk to hand out materials on the dispensary to passersby.

“It gives regular people in the community a chance to ask us questions,” she said. “People are interested to see what’s happening with this.”

Locklund will host a larger information session on at 1 p.m. July 11 at the Chamber of Commerce offices in Center City (RSVP to slocklund@herbologydispensary.com if you want to go).

After that, Herbology will host a grand opening event, featuring a sneak peek inside the “vault” where all the goods will be stored.

“People will actually have a chance to come into the dispensary and look at the vault,” Locklund said. “After we open, that’ll be top secret.”

If you want to get in on the action, you’ll have to qualify. If you’ve got a condition that you think might be treatable with medical cannabis, Locklund said you should visit a doctor that is certified to recommend it. If the doctor agrees with you, you’ll have to create a profile on a government website for medical marijuana and then front $50 for an ID card. Within 10 days of payment, you should be set.

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