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Pittsburgh's Second Medical Marijuana Dispensary Opens In The Strip

Jakob Lazzaro
90.5 WESA
Cresco Yeltrah+ co-founder Trent Hartley cuts the ribbon on the company’s new Strip District medical marijuana dispensary on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.";

Pittsburgh is getting its second medical marijuana dispensary after Cresco Yeltrah+, or CY+, opened its Strip District location Tuesday.

Co-founder Trent Hartley said he’s not worried about keeping his shelves stocked. Product shortages were issue in Pennsylvania when the first dispensaries opened this winter.

“There are times when we’re a little low on stock, there’s no doubt,” Hartley said.

That’s because only half of the state’s 12 licensed grower-processors are currently selling medical marijuana products to dispensaries, Hartley said. However, he expects that to change.

“I would say that the next six should probably have product on the shelf within the next six to eight weeks,” he said.

According to the state health department, there were more than 46,000 patients registered in the medical marijuana program as of June 21. Of those registered, more than 24,000 have purchased the ID cards allowing them to actually pick up product at dispensaries.

Maurice Notkin was one of several card holders in line to shop. He runs Shadyside’s RadRitual and CBD Bar with his wife and said the city’s other dispensary, Solevo in Squirrel Hill, is often too busy.

“They weren’t able to keep up with demand, and I think that this is going to be a big change and really going to help people get the medicine they need,” Notkin said. “And that’s why I’m here. They have stuff today that no one else has in stock.”

CY+ will stock its own products; the company owns a marijuana growing and processing facility in Jefferson County as well as another dispensary location in Butler. A third dispensary location is expected to be announced soon.

The Healing Center in Washington, Penn. is expected to open later this week, making it the region's fourth operational dispensary.

Jakob Lazzaro is a digital producer at WESA. He comes to Pittsburgh from South Bend, Ind., where he worked as the senior reporter and assignment editor at WVPE and had fun on-air hosting local All Things Considered two days a week, but he first got to know this area in 2018 as an intern at WESA (and is excited to be back). He graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 and has also previously reported for CalMatters and written NPR's Source of the Week email newsletter.