Cresco Yeltrah+ opened the doors at 2114 Penn Ave. in the Strip District last week to what they say is the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the state.
The more than 8,000-square-foot dispensary — CY+’s second in western Pennsylvania — can accommodate nearly 10 patients at a time and up to 400 patients a day. Cresco Yeltrah is a partnership between the Hartley family of Pennsylvania and Cresco Labs; one of the nation’s leading medical cannabis companies.
Cresco Yeltrah (Yeltrah is Hartley spelled backwards) was awarded two permits from the state and operates a growing and manufacturing facility in Brookville, along with their main dispensary in Butler.
The Strip District location also includes a first-of-its-kind facility in the state, nearby at 2112 Penn Ave., which is dedicated to educating people about medical cannabis and cbd, its history and the 21 conditions that qualify for state-issued medical marijuana cards, says company co-founder Kent Hartley.
“A lot of people are very curious right now about the program,” he says.
While the educational facility is open to the public six days a week (closed Mondays), entrance to the dispensary requires a state-issued medical marijuana patient or caregiver card.
The dispensary offers a welcoming environment with a streamlined design, calming colors, exposed ceiling and natural light, where patients can receive one-on-one technology-driven consultations.
Hartley compares the space to an Apple store where iPads are used to show patients the selection prior to the consultation. That information is also available online.
This detailed information is important for patients, Hartley says, because not all patients need the same medical marijuana products. CY+ is aware that potential patients need to know if a particular medication is available “before they get in the car and drive two and half hours to come here.”
The facility offers a selection of more than 100 different medical marijuana products that include pharmaceutical grade, dose regulated pills, oils, gels, creams, ointments, vape pens and liquids.
Following a one-on-one consultation, patient orders are sent from a vault and filled in a pharmacy-style setting that feels like the perfect place where to buy all that you might need, Hartley says.
CY+ opened the state’s first dispensary in Butler on February 15. It currently sees about 100 patients a day and an estimated 350 unique patients a week, a company spokesperson said.
“We’ve got a mix of patients,” Hartley says, “from the epileptic child to the 90-year-old caregiver who is taking care of his wife with Alzheimer’s.”
The Strip District’s population surge and mix of specialty shops made it the perfect fit for the CY+ dispensary and education center, Hartley says. They moved into the former home of an Asian grocery store.
“It’s a great eclectic area,” he says. “It draws all types of people from young to old.”
In addition to their Butler and Strip District locations, they plan to open a third dispensary at a location to be determined. Under consideration are the Johnstown/Altoona areas or possibly New Stanton, he says.
As they open new facilities, they also work to rid the stigma of medical marijuana from the region.
“You don’t have to be pro-cannabis. You just have to be anti-pain, anti-nausea and anti-suffering,” Hartley says, noting that in the last five years the public has supported votes related to cannabis at a higher rate than they do political figures.