WILKES-BARRE — A wellness center that includes a proposed medicinal marijuana dispensary could be coming to Wilkes-Barre, though the project will need to clear many hurdles first.
Project developers cleared the first hurdle Thursday, when city council voted to sell two city-owned parcels to Artanor, LLC, a holding company for Keystone Center of Integrated Wellness.
The company purchased a 0.45-acre lot at 773 S. Franklin St. that contains an abandoned factory for $100. It also bought a vacant lot on Westminster Street for $1,500.
Keystone Center developers told council they plan to raze the crumbling factory and construct a 4,000-square-foot building on the site.
That building would house a for-profit business that would “merge the concepts of a medicinal marijuana dispensary, a human services center and a job creation center by working with the local community to address needs and promote inclusiveness,” according to a letter developers sent to council in support of their proposal.
Mary Pat Julias, one of the principals of the project, told council the developers will absorb the cost of demolishing the vacant factory, which she estimated at about $75,000.
She said the business would dispense only medicinal marijuana such as pills, and would not grow marijuana plants on-site.
“I want to make it perfectly clear, it’s medicine,” Julias said.
“There is no growing going on,” she said. “Compare this to putting up a Rite-Aid or CVS … to dispense medicine to patients who need it.”
Krista Krebs, another principal developer of the proposed wellness center, said the center would specialize in case management for people with disabilities, including