PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP) – Wednesday morning, the Chamber of Commerce of the Mid-Ohio Valley met with officials from The Healing Center, a Pennsylvania based medical marijuana dispensary. The Healing Center has applied to open up stores in West Virginia, including one in the Parkersburg area.
The Zoom based meeting was meant to be an opportunity for the company to show local leaders what their business is all about.
A large portion of the meeting was centered around the security of The Healing Center’s facilities, which to put it in layman’s terms, “are locked up like Fort Knox.” The company’s head of security is U.S. Army veteran and former law enforcement officer, Robert Veinovich Jr. He says he almost only hires former law enforcement officers to work as guards. There are even multiple former police chiefs working under him.
On top of this, company leaders say they have top notch security cameras and all of their stores are in stand alone buildings, preventing break-ins from connected businesses.
Another significant portion of the meeting was spent discussing how seriously the company says it takes its patients and their ailments. According to co-owner Chris Kohan, each of The Healing Center’s stores are run by pharmacists and each store employs at least two of them. If they are approved to open in West Virginia, each of their Mountain State stores would follow suit.
Despite the name “medical marijuana,” co-owner Jay Richards says some dispensaries employ no medical professionals. It’s a point of pride for him that Healing Center stores are “pharmacist-run”. An informational pamphlet for The Healing Center, distributed by the MOV Chamber, actually calls the stores “pharmacies run by pharmacists.”
The company says it has an over 90 percent retention rate for its roughly 20,000 customers.
Should The Healing Center’s application to open up in West Virginia, they would look to build at 2809 Pike Street in Parkersburg. Company officials believe it would bring 20 to 25 high-paying jobs to the area.
“They’re good, high paying jobs. We need multiple pharmacists for our stores, all of our patient care representatives, our starting wage is 15 dollars an hour plus full benefits,” said Kohan.
Due to federal law restricting interstate trafficking, the company would also only buy from local growers.
To build onto their resume, company officials say they have never received a compliance violation, whereas their nearest competitor has received 17. Richards says these citations are extremely common in the medical cannabis industry, thus it is a point of pride for the company that they have yet to receive one.
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