| Erie Times-News
Erie County will soon have a second location where people can purchase medical marijuana.
Rise Erie is opening a new dispensary at the former Planet Fitness location, 1950 Rotunda Drive in Summit Township. It is expected to open the week of Jan. 11, said Tim Hawkins, vice president of retail operations for Rise Erie’s parent company, Green Thumb Industries.
“Certainly the fact that upper Peach Street is a retail hub is an attraction for us,” Hawkins said. “It’s also close to (Interstates 90 and 79), and we draw patients from not only Erie but the surrounding area.”
The new location will be known as Rise Erie Peach, while the current location at 2108 W. Eighth St. will be known as Rise Erie Lake, Hawkins said.
2018: Rise Erie Lake opens for business in Millcreek Township
Rise Erie Lake, the county’s first medical marijuana dispensary, opened in April 2018. Hawkins said the hope is that a second location will increase business overall and reduce the strain on Rise Erie Lake.
“The numbers we have seen over the years since we opened are better than anyone expected,” Hawkins said. “Our new location is much bigger and has a massive amount of parking.”
About one-third of the building will be used to host seminars and educational meetings about medical marijuana. Rise Erie is not permitted to hold these activities inside the dispensary, so the facility will have a separate entrance.
More: Medical marijuana has created Erie jobs. Is recreational use next for Pennsylvania?
Both locations will sell the same brands of medical marijuana, Hawkins said. They probably will have slightly different hours.
“We’ll probably be open a little later in the day at Rise Erie Peach,” Hawkins said. “It gives people an option while they are out shopping.”
Opening a second location will double Rise Erie’s workforce from about 25 employees to between 50 and 55.
Rise Erie Peach will be Green Thumb’s 14th dispensary in Pennsylvania and 52nd in the country. The company is considering opening a location in Meadville, Hawkins said.
Contact David Bruce at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ETNBruce.