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The Healing Center Cofounders, Jay Richards (L) and Chris Kohan (R)

The Healing Center is growing.

The Washington-based medical cannabis dispensary announced in February that they will build six more dispensaries across the state after purchasing a 50% equity in the Chester County-based Agronomed Biologics LLC. The Healing Center purchased its share of Agronomed Biologics from the Franklin Group in Colorado.

Agronomed Biologics is permitted to open a medical marijuana growing and processing facility and six dispensaries to conduct research on medical cannabis with Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Chris Kohan, The Healing Center’s CEO and co-founder, declined to say how much his company paid for the acquisition.

The first of the six dispensaries, as well as the growing and processing facility, are based in Chester County and will open to the public in late April.

“We expect the next five to come rapidly,” Chris Kohan said. “(The Chester County dispensary) is the fourth one we’ve built. We’re pretty comfortable with the process at this point.”

Kohan said there are plans to build two other dispensaries in the southeast part of the state. The other three dispensaries will be built around the region, with a location planned for Robinson Township.

“We know exactly where the locations are going to be,” he said. “We just can’t release that information right now.”

The Healing Center currently has three dispensaries located in Washington, Cranberry and Monroeville. In addition to their expansion across the state, The Healing Center is also expanding into West Virginia. Kohan said the state recently implemented a program and is in a similar position that Pennsylvania was in 2017. He anticipates to start opening his dispensaries by the end of the year.

“That’s a good target date,” he said.

Another component of The Healing Center’s recent investment in Agronomed Biologics is a new research partnership with Drexel University. Kohan said the partnership will focus on medical cannabis research.

“This is a natural next step for us,” he said. “We’ve serviced roughly 34,000 patients in the first two and half years. We see the patients. We see the conditions they have. It’s time to start honing in on them and medications that can make a difference.”

Kohan’s Co-founder, Jay Richards, agreed.

“The Healing Center feels a tremendous responsibility to our patients. This is the foremost consideration in every decision we make,” Richards, who is also the dispensary’s president, said.

“We look forward to expanding our operations to provide not only access to important medicine, but also an opportunity to use our patients’ feedback to pioneer important research.”

Kohan said this new partnership will have major implications for the industry.

“This brings legitimacy to the industry,” he said. “Cannabis is still a schedule one drug, which means that it has no medical benefit whatsoever when that’s not factual. We’re going to see that being changed. This is just the tip of the iceberg. This industry is exploding.”

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