A peek inside Southwest Greensburg’s new marijuana dispensary – TribLIVE

Terri Kroh doesn’t question whether medical Marijuana is beneficial.

She sees it almost daily through her role as medical director at Maitri Medicinals, which is opening a new medical Marijuana Dispensary in Southwest Greensburg.

“It’s very, very rewarding,” Kroh said. “You see so many lives changed, individuals that come in that really were in so much pain they couldn’t walk, and then two weeks later they come back and they’re kicking their canes up in the air. It’s amazing.”

This will be the third medical Marijuana Dispensary opened by Maitri Medicinals, joining its other locations in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty neighborhood and Uniontown, Fayette County. The Southwest Greensburg Dispensary will open in a strip mall at 1075 S. Main St., near the intersection of Routes 30 and 119.

While an opening date is pending a state investigation, community members and local politicians were invited to the Dispensary for a behind-the-scenes look before product and patients are permitted inside. A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place after the tours alongside members of the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce.

Located in a storefront in the center of the strip mall, Maitri will require patients to show their identification before they are buzzed into a reception area. From there, they will be directed to another room where they can work with Maitri employees to place an order, or place an order on a kiosk and tablet located in the building.

A consultation room is available for patients looking to speak with a pharmacist about different strains and products. One or two pharmacists will be on staff during operating hours to give advice and provide education on medical Marijuana. Tips about the product are given when a patient picks up their order through curbside pickup or inside the building.

In all, the process is expected to take about 8 minutes, said Jenna Parker, vice president of retail operations.

“We know that people in Pennsylvania have done the work, they are widely educated, they are one of just the most interactive consumers I have ever experienced,” Parker said.

Product coming into the facility will be brought in through a garage door in the back, where it will be sorted and stored in a vault. Orders will be filled by employees.

According to Marisa Maraugha, wholesale marketing representative, medical Marijuana plants are grown by Maitri Genetics at its Pittsburgh location.

Several factors are taken into account with each plant, including levels of THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive component of Marijuana, and terpenes, chemical components that make certain strains smell or taste different from others. Terpenes also have various medical benefits, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Because those factors vary per plant, education for each product is developed alongside pharmacists who review labs for the plants.

“It’s not just a high THC percentage,” Maraugha said. “People are finally realizing what those terpenes mean in the bud, and they look for medicinal terpenes in that instead of just a kind of high THC effect.”

Pharmacists work with patients to determine the best strain for each patient’s medical diagnosis, Maraugha said.

In Pennsylvania, residents with a serious medical condition as certified by an approved physician can register for a medical Marijuana identification card that can be used to purchase medical Marijuana at dispensaries. There are currently 23 qualifying conditions that range from anxiety and PTSD to chronic pain.

“We really just help patients (by listening) compassionately to their symptoms and the issues they’re having and the treatment goals that they’re trying to obtain, and then walk them through kind of a 101 on medical Marijuana, how it works in the body, what strains and what terpenes might be best for the individual and then help them choose a proper formulation that they feel most comfortable with,” Kroh said.

Pennsylvania’s medical Marijuana industry has surged since 2018, when products first became available for patients at dispensaries across the state. By August, the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Advisory Board reported $3.4 billion in sales with more than 633,000 registered patients and caregivers.

There are several medical Marijuana dispensaries across the state. In Westmoreland County, Maitri will join Beyond/Hello in Irwin, Delta 9 PA in Greensburg, The Rise dispensary in Unity and Sunnyside Medical Cannabis Dispensary in New Kensington.

“We are really looking forward to serving patients in Westmoreland County,” Maitri CEO Jimil Wilson said.

Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .