SHAMOKIN — Shamokin’s first marijuana dispensary is scheduled to open this month at a former bank building at the corner of Independence and Shamokin streets.
Shamokin Mayor John Brown said Friday that Harvest of North Central PA, LLC, must be operational by June 18. Outside and inside renovations including painting are nearing completion.
In December, Shamokin was awarded two of the 23 dispensary permits by the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued during Phase II of the state’s medical marijuana program.
Of the six regions in the state, only two dispensaries were awarded in the Northcentral region, both in Shamokin. The two companies to have dispensaries in the city are Harvest of North Central PA LLC, at 520 N. Shamokin St., and PharmaCann Penn LLC, which initially planned to locate at 235 W. Spruce St., but is currently seeking a new location.
Brown previously said the dispensaries are a “positive” for the community because they will bring two new businesses into vacant buildings.
In December, Brown said he was confident Shamokin would be awarded a dispensary because applicants that locate themselves in an Act 47 community receive extra points on the application.
The former bank building at 520 N. Shamokin St. last served as the temporary offices for the Shamokin-Coal Township Joint Sewer Authority.
Harvest of North Central PA LLC has a main address of Tempe, Arizona, listed with the Department of Health, and reports 11 company officers.
In addition to Shamokin, Harvest of North Central PA has or will open dispensaries in Reading, Scranton, Harrisburg, Johnstown and New Castle.
Leland Radovanovic, of its public relations department, previously said Harvest is a multi-state operator with over 60 medical marijuana licenses across 11 states. The company has been awarded a license in every state it’s applied in and now is a public entity.
The company will keep its headquarters in Tempe.
PharmaCann began in 2014 in Illinois, which rolled out one of the first modern medical marijuana licensing regulatory structures in the United States separate from old legacy markets such as those in California and Colorado, which have legal recreational use.
In December, Jeremy Unruh, director of regulatory and external affairs for PharmaCann, said he jumped on board at PharmaCann with founder Teddy Scott, who began applying for licenses in Illinois in 2014. In 2015, PharmaCann had been awarded more licenses in Illinois than any other company. Since then, Unruh said the company has expanded to Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia.
PharmaCann runs a dispensary in Philadelphia.
In March, a new holding company assigned by the county to purchase 10 acres of land near the new county jail in Coal Township was granted a 60-day extension by the commissioners to complete the sale of the property that is scheduled to become a medical marijuana facility.
Commissioners Sam Schiccatano and Rick Shoch voted to allow Vinyanor LLC to assign all of its rights, title and interest under a Dec. 7 sales agreement with the county to MNK 03 Holdings LLC, which was granted a 60-day extension to finalize the sale.
Commissioner Kym Best abstained on the vote.
MNK 03 Holdings LLC must pay the county an additional $10,000 deposit under the assignment.
Schiccatano and Shoch previously authorized execution of an agreement to sell 10 acres of land near the new county jail to Vinyanor LLC for $1.5 million, with the county receiving a $10,000 deposit and another $1,000 for granting the holding company the option to purchase the land.
Best opposed the sale.
Vinyanor was the holding company for Parea BioSciences, which plans to establish a medical marijuana facility at the site. MNK 03 Holdings is affiliated with Parea BioSciences.