The first medical marijuana dispensary on this side of the state officially opened its doors Thursday.
The CY+ Dispensary is located on Pillow Street in the City of Butler, next to Kelly Automotive Park. The facility is operated by Cresco Yeltrah, which was founded, in part, by two Butler County businessmen, Ken and Trent Hartley.
CY+ will carry over 100 different medical marijuana products including capsules, oils, waxes and concentrates. Patients will need approval from their doctor and a medical marijuana card before they’re given access.
We’ve heard from several Pennsylvanians who say they have waited years for the state to begin legally selling medical marijuana.
Diana Briggs of Westmoreland County is one of those people.
“Today is the dream that we fought four years for,” Briggs said on Thursday during the formal opening of the CY+ Dispensary in Butler. “To be able to drive 40 minutes from my home and come into this dispensary and have choices. I can’t imagine what our lives will be like a year from now.”
Briggs’ battle for access to medical marijuana began four years ago after her son was born with a brain injury, causing him to have as many as 400 seizures per day. She traveled outside of the state to get access to medical marijuana and now, her son Ryan is down to 100 seizures per day.
“It really has changed not just his life, but my entire family’s life,” she said. “I hope people realize that it truly is a medicine. When I first started this journey, I was called the ‘Pot Mom.’ I was told I wanted to get marijuana to get high. I lost friends. I lost family. No one understood what we were going through.”
Briggs said the new treatment has helped Ryan tremendously.
“He’s awake. He’s alert. It’s truly working as a medicine in his body. It’s not working to get him high. Most of the pharmaceuticals he was on was getting him high. His eyes would roll back in his head. I haven’t seen any adverse effects from medical marijuana,” she said.
Briggs has now joined with other parents of children suffering from epilepsy to form Campaign for Compassion, which is a medical marijuana advocacy group.
In order to have access to medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, patients must have one of 17 qualifying health conditions, which include autism, cancer, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The community will get a peek inside Butler’s medical marijuana dispensary this weekend.
Public open houses are scheduled for both Saturday and Sunday afternoon, Feb. 3 and 4, at the CY+ Dispensary on Pillow Street, next to Kelly Automotive Park. You don’t need a medical marijuana card to attend the open house.
The first actual medical marijuana sale is expected to happen on Feb. 15.