Central Pa. company that has research agreement with Penn State has opened its first medical marijuana dispensary

Business sign
Pictured is a sign outside of the headquarters of PA Options for Wellness in Lower Paxton Township. (Daniel Urie, PennLive)

A new medical marijuana dispensary has opened in the Harrisburg area.

Vytal Options opened for business at 4711 Queen Ave. in Lower Paxton Township near the Olde Liberty Square office complex on June 29. Vytal Options is owned by PA Options for Wellness. The new location is the first dispensary for Vytal Options and is located in the same building as the headquarters for PA Options for Wellness.

The store is available to qualified and approved patients who possess a valid medical marijuana identification card. The dispensary will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

All new patients and caregivers of new patients must first fill out an intake form and call to schedule a consultation with a Vytal Options pharmacist. Every dispensary has pharmacists available on-site. Patients can contact Vytal Options at 717-303-3017 to book an appointment.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health deemed the location operational and ready to open last month.

Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana in 2016, allowing it to be used to treat 17 medical conditions. Last year the list grew to include 23 conditions. Someone with one of the conditions must have it certified by a doctor who is state-approved. Then they can obtain a card enabling them to buy medical marijuana at a medical marijuana dispensary.

PA Options for Wellness was founded by Thomas Trite in 2014 and announced last year it is collaborating with Penn State. The university – whose College of Medicine and affiliated Milton S. Hershey Medical Center are an state-approved academic clinical research center – and PA Options for Wellness – a state-approved clinical registrant – have signed a 10-year research agreement. State-approved clinical registrants are licensed to grow, process and dispense marijuana for research and medical treatment purposes.

PA Options for Wellness will provide funding to Penn State over 10 years, a significant portion of which will go to the College of Medicine to study health outcomes-based research and preclinical studies on the potential benefits of cannabinoids and medical marijuana. The College of Medicine will assist PA Options for Wellness determine which types of marijuana extracts are optimal for various conditions. The research work will focus on pain management and anti-cancer activity initially.

The new dispensary is one of several dispensaries that have opened or will open in the midstate. Numerous companies have opened or will open dispensaries (under the same name or a different name) in central Pennsylvania. Organic Remedies Inc. was awarded permits in East Pennsboro Township and Chambersburg; Lebanon Wellness Center LLC was awarded permits in Lebanon and Gettysburg; KW Ventures Holdings LLC was awarded permits in Steelton, Guilford Township near Chambersburg and in North Middleton Township near Carlisle; Cansortium Pennsylvania LLC was awarded a permit in Penn Township near Hanover; Bay LLC was awarded a permit in in Manheim Township near Lancaster; Harvest of South Central PA LLC was awarded a permit in Harrisburg; Local dispensaries LLC was awarded a permit in Harrisburg and GTI Pennsylvania LLC was awarded a permit in Mechanicsburg. And Rise York opened in West Manchester Township near York. PA Options for Wellness has opened a location in Lower Paxton Township and plans to open a location in Lancaster.