Crews began tearing down a vacant building in Washington on Tuesday to make way for a new medical marijuana dispensary.
In addition to helping sick people, local leaders are hoping this new business will help stop the opioid epidemic in Washington County.
Diana Briggs’ son has intractable epilepsy. He was suffering 40 seizures a day.
“The conventional methods failed,” Briggs said. “Ten pharmaceuticals. With a lot of them with terrible side effects.”
That’s why she joined advocacy group Campaign for Compassion, to help lawmakers pass the medical marijuana bill.
On Monday, the owners of the healing center broke ground on what will be their new medical marijuana facility on Chestnut Street in Washington.
“We're proud to be here today,” said Chris Kohan of The Healing Center.
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Among the hurdles they faced: convincing the city police Chief Robert Wilson, who was originally against the plan.
“They have educated me and gave me a lot of things that I got to read, but I can tell you that if it helps the people, then I am all about supporting it,” Wilson said.
The facility will be the first of its kind in Washington County following Pennsylvania's passage of the medical marijuana bill last year.
“I believe, too, that if we had been able to use this years ago, we would not see this incredible epidemic that we have right now with opioids,” said State Sen. Camera Bartolotta.
The owners hope to have the healing center open sometime in April.
“That day will come with lots of weeping, I'm sure,” Briggs said.
They're also planning dispensaries in Cranberry and Monroeville.
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