UPPER MERION >> Michael Badey, the 24-year-old CEO of the Keystone Shops medical marijuana dispensaries, said he has great empathy for patients because he has suffered since childhood from a blood disorder and has been “in and out of hospitals.”
Badey, of Radnor, unveiled Keystone Shops’ newest marijuana dispensary at 367 Henderson Road in King of Prussia on May 2. The company’s first store opened in Devon on Feb. 14, and a third is now planned for South Philadelphia on Packer Avenue near the sports stadiums.
Walk into the 4,000-square-foot King of Prussia dispensary, and you’re greeted by a security guard, as well as a receptionist. A Zen fountain bubbles, and soothing green and gray décor create a calm mood. Due to state rules, security is tight, and only four patients are allowed on the sales floor at one time, which is behind a locked door from the lobby.
Last month, the state board of health announced that dry leaf marijuana would now be permitted to be sold in Pennsylvania and added some more conditions to the 17 diseases previously permitted for marijuana treatment. These include addiction recovery therapy, cancer remission, terminal illness, severe or intractable pain and spastic disorders like Tourette’s syndrome. Other illnesses already on the list include MS, ALS, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy and glaucoma. Dry leaf product or “flower” for use in vaporizers will likely be available sometime this summer, state officials said.
“Hopefully, sometime this summer, flower will be on the shelves,” Badey said. “The state has done a good job keeping their deadlines so far.”
Flower “is the cheapest to process for THC,” the main psychoactive cannabinoid of marijuana, said Badey. “A lot less goes into the manufacture of flower. That will definitely translate into lower prices for patients.”
Flower also offers an “entourage effect,”