WILKES-BARRE — An abandoned factory that’s gone to pot could be the site of a wellness center with a medical marijuana dispensary.
The city council Thursday approved the sale of the former Panam Silk Mills Inc. at 773 S. Franklin St. for $100 and an adjacent lot on Westminster Street for $1,500 to a Carlisle-based business in the process of applying for a state license to dispense medicine derived from the marijuana plant.
Mary Pat Julias and Krista Krebs, business partners in Keystone Center of Integrative Wellness, offered more details of their plans than they did at council’s work session Tuesday in order to present a clearer picture of their operation and allay concerns about marijuana being grown and sold at the center.
“You can compare this to putting up a Rite Aid or a CVS. It is medicine. It is not marijuana as the plant. There is no leaf, anything. It’s not even green. So I just wanted to make that perfectly clear,” Julias, an Avoca native, told council at its regularly scheduled public meeting.
“We don’t even touch it,” Krebs said.
She explained that the center will have case managers for the people receiving the medicine and offer them services and provide resources to better their lives.
Their goal is to get a state license for a dispensary that would be part of the center, which would have human services and job development components as well. They want to put up a $400,000 building on the site after demolishing the factory that’s been an eyesore and vacant since the Redevelopment Authority of Wilkes-Barre purchased it for $2,000 in 2001 after an intentionally set fire heavily damaged the property.
The low sale price set by the city assessor attracted Julias and Krebs to make an