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Sunday, July 9, 2017

The "Biggest In The World?" Story

Foreword:  As I read today's newspaper, I came across a small story that had a profound influence on what you are about to read in my story today.  Seems that the Lancaster Newspaper reported something without actually checking all the sources that they should have before writing a story a few days ago and then publishing it in its daily paper.  What you are about to read today isn't exactly accurate, since my story dealing with the Kmart store a few blocks from my house WILL NOT be used for Lancaster County's 1st dispensary for medical marijuana.  Two day's worth of stories were published in the local newspaper telling of the vacant store being sold for the purpose of distribution of medical marijuana.  If it had been so it would have been the world's largest dispensary for medical marijuana.  Seems that someone didn't research enough because a much, much smaller store in the adjacent Kmart strip will be the new dispensary.  Now the neighbors can relax a bit!  I still thought I would publish my original story intact so you can see what had been anticipated in our neighborhood before I read the much smaller story on the inside of today's newspaper. Shows you that what you read isn't always true!

It was an ordinary day.  Been wondering for months what the large building about two blocks from our house was going to be after retail giant Kmart closed its doors.  Well, today we found out!  Going to be Lancaster County's 1st dispensary for the sale of medical marijuana.  It was back on April 17, 2016 that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed the Medical Marijuana Act into law making it the 24th state to legalize the use of medical marijuana.  The act called for licensing 65 growers, 65 processors and 130 dispensaries based on population figures within the state.  
So what is this wonder drug that Pennsyl- vania is going to dispense from the old Kmart building near my house?  The term "Medical marijuana" refers to using the whole unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat a disease or symptom.  The Marijuana plant contains chemicals that may help treat a range of illnesses or symptoms, prompting a growing number of states, including PA, to legalize it for medical use.  Doctors will need to apply for a license to prescribe medical marijuana for "serious medical conditions" such as: Cancer, Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired deficiency syndrome, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, Multiple sclerosis, Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, Epilepsy, Inflammatory bowel disease, Neuropathies, Huntington's disease, Chron's disease, Post-traumatic stress disorder, Intractable seizures, Glaucoma, Sickle cell anemia, Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective, and Autism.  
This large store used to be a Kmart.  Now it is being considered
for a station to dispense medical marijuana.  I guess they can
leave the Pharmacy sign in place if they care to.
The Kmart near my home will be used only for dispensing medical marijuana, not for growing it.  Licenses for growing the drug have also begun with hopes of imple- menting the new law between 18 and 24 months since it was signed.  Now at this point in my story I should tell you that in 1999, Carol and myself, along with five other friends traveled to Hawaii for a vacation not long after my friend Jerry and I had retired from the Manheim Township School District.  While on the island of Oahu, we visited the capital, Honolulu.  On Honolulu we met Carol's cousin Gary, whom I happened to have as a student in high school shortly after we were married.  Gary was a Doctor on the island and at the time one of the largest prescribers of medical marijuana on the island.  We talked about it and how it helped his patients.  Seemed at the time to be a wonder drug.  I guess we who live in Pennsylvania may have a chance to see for ourselves what the benefits of the drug will be.  But why did it take so many years for the state of Pennsylvania to discover what Hawaii knew back in the late 1990s?  The building near my house was purchased by "Cure Pennsylvania" which plans to make it into a dispensary for medical marijuana.  The building is huge with 125,000 square feet of floor space.  They will not be growing any plants here, just dispensing the drug.  A typical dispensary is about 5,000 to 10,000 feet in size.  The new state law requires the dispensary to have a secure loading and unloading space, out of public view.  An interior dock could me part of the new space.  Newspapers in the area are wondering why "Cure Pennsylvania" needs such a large space.  Will they tear the building down and rebuild a new space?  Will they use the place to ship the marijuana to its other two location in the state that they will have?  Could they apply for a clinical registrant permit which will allow dispensaries or growers who have $15 million in capital to be linked to research programs?  If so, they might need the entire building.  My only wonder is what type of sign they will place on the front of the store where the big Kmart once stood.  I guess I will find out soon.  Can't imagine they will need the huge parking lot.  And, I'll bet we will see plenty of new security people around the neighborhood.  And who knows, maybe I'll need their services in the near future.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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