Medical marijuana dispensaries could improve local economies

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Medical marijuana dispensaries are coming to Pennsylvania soon. The state announced 27 licenses with locations across the Midstate.

Chambersburg officials say they’re lucky to get two dispensaries in the borough, because it will be good for the economy.

Local businesses are looking forward to it.

Tina Warren, manager at the Chambersburg Applebee’s is busy at lunch hour, but her restaurant, maybe not.

“We need a lot more business,” Warren said. “A lot more, especially in this old section of town.”

She received an answer to her call, but it wasn’t what she expected. A medical marijuana growing facility and dispensary are moving into the building behind her Applebee’s.

“We really need something here that attracts more people,” Warren said.

“I think this is an opportunity to grow our local economy,” the president of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation (FCADC), Mike Ross, said.

He has high hopes for the growers.

“They will have upwards of $5 million invested just to set up the operation,” Ross said.

That includes $3.7 million to buy the building from FCADC, plus local contracts for renovation.

“Once established, then the expectation is that they will hire upwards of 50-plus people to operate it,” Ross said.

Ross also expects the two incoming dispensaries in Chambersburg to hire workers and maybe even attract new residents. But he says it’s uncharted territory to guess how much money the facilities will contribute after opening day.

“This is an industry that is new to all of us around the country,” Ross said.

The growers will arrive in Chambersburg within six months. The dispensary comes shortly after.

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