Stanley English was the first in line when Reading’s newest medical marijuana dispensary opened its doors at 9 a.m. Wednesday.
For English, 40, of Sinking Spring, and others who suffer from chronic pain, the passage of legislation that allows cannabis to be grown and harvested at licensed facilities and sold at dispensaries such as Beyond/Hello, 300 Cherry St., has been a lifesaver.
English uses a walker because of a broken back suffered on the job while delivering drywall in 2014. His truck overturned into the back of a tractor-trailer.
“Nine surgeries later and over 100 hours on the operating table and here I stand,” he said. “I’m just glad to see they finally passed something in Pennsylvania. I’m glad to see some of the stores open. It’s nice to see one here in town, where people can walk.”
Beyond/Hello is the second medical cannabis dispensary to open in the city, but the first in the downtown area. It’s housed in a blue, one-story building across the street from the rear parking lot of Jimmie Kramer’s Peanut Bar.
The other dispensary is Harvest House of Cannabis, 201 Lancaster Ave.
Another customer waiting for the doors to open, Lu Willet, 64, of Shillington said she was happy to learn Beyond/Hello was opening a store so close to her home.
She said she suffered from stage 2 renal failure, which she blamed on medication she took for underlying medical conditions. She said she’s improved since she replaced medication that was harmful to her kidneys with medical cannabis.
Willet said she’s had good experiences as a customer of other Beyond/Hello stores in the region.
The Reading location is the eighth cannabis facility licensed by the state Department of Health to Jushi Holdings Inc. for in-store and on-line shopping. In-store