High turnout expected for opening of Philly's first dispensary

Pat Loeb
May 29, 2018 - 8:37 pm
Medical marijuana in large jar at a legal marijuana dispensary.
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Two years after Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana, Philadelphia gets its first dispensary.

Vip Patel has been planning for this day for a long time. As part owner of Restore Integrative Wellness Center, he went through an extensive application process with the state before being granted a permit and beginning to work on stocking and opening the city's first dispensary.

"I've been running around so much the last few days it hasn't quite hit me," said Patel, "but I am very excited."

Patel expects a line when doors open at the Fishtown dispensary. Ninety patients have signed up since registration opened Friday.

Standard Farms is here today introducing their products to our staff. Please come in to pre-register on either Thurs or Fri of next week. #medicalmarijuana #philadelphia #fishtown

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But Restore Integrative Wellness is not Patel's first business. He's used to soft openings where staff and customers get acquainted with the space before going full service, but that's not the case with the dispensary.

"This particular business is unique, so we're expecting a pretty heavy turnout," he said. "We open the doors at 11 [a.m.> and we feel there'll be people lining up about 10:30."

Patel noted the Frankford Avenue location is convenient to I-95 and nearby subway stops. 

He said the dispensary will carry everything currently available from the three state-approved growers that are up and running: vape pens, oils, sprays, patches, pills and lotions.

"We have some great staff who can explain everything," he said. "We'll make sure the customer 100 percent knows what they're taking before they take the product."

Patients must register and have a state-issued ID card, which requires a doctor's diagnosis. The dispensary will be open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.