Zoning committee encourages medical marijuana dispensary applicant to move forward

August 21, 2019

The inside of an Ilera Healthcare dispensary, which company officials told the Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee will be very similar to one proposed for 4237 Walnut Street (from Ilera’s website).

The Spruce Hill Community Association zoning committee encouraged officials from a medical marijuana dispensary to formally apply for zoning for a location near 43rd and Walnut after an informational meeting this week.

Ilera Healthcare wants to open the dispensary at 4237 Walnut St., a property that has housed health-related businesses for several years. It would be the first medical marijuana dispensary in West Philly and the company’s second in the region. 

Company officials laid out the state-mandated security measures in and around the building, including multiple surveillance cameras and a custom-built, bank-style vault in which the marijuana is stored.

Customers have to have a state-issued card scanned to enter through secured doors. The marijuana product is taken out of the dispensary, which company officials said will resemble a cross between a pharmacy and a spa.

One sticking point might be the location’s proximity to the Penn Alexander School at 43rd and Locust. State law requires that dispensaries be located 500 feet from a school or day care center. An Ilera official said at Monday’s meeting that an official measurement he did through Google Earth showed the school was 498 feet away.

Residents and political officials have protested dispensaries in other parts of the city.

There are about 60 dispensaries across the state, with a half-dozen in Philadelphia. Some 150,000 people in the state have prescriptions.

Ilera is proposing a 10-year lease on the property with two five-year options. Company officials say the dispensary could be operational within 30 days of receiving zoning approval.

An official neighborhood zoning hearing will be scheduled once Ilera applies to the city.

8 Comments For This Post

  1. Robyn Biv Says:

    Good. Those who need these products for their health should not have to travel miles to get it. There are pharmacies everywhere and this is no different, except safer. For anyone who has not been to a dispensary, they are very clinical and no one uses the products outside or on site. Think of it as a Rite Aid.

  2. West Philly Says:

    Only 498′ from a school. Really? There are people who benefit from medical marijuana. But 150,000 already in PA? It’s well known how easy it is to obtain a medical marijuana card. In the end it’s more about business and profit than the benefit. Oh, and the tax money going to the city.

  3. NayBah Says:

    If this is such a great idea for West Philly, then it’s a great idea for Rittenhouse Square or Fitler Square or Northern Liberties or Manayunk or Roxborough. We do not need more mind-altering substances in West Philly.

  4. goldenmonkey Says:

    Yeah, preventing a way for people to find relief from pain will really stop the coke and heroin trafficking in West Philly. Because Haverford Ave is a dump due to weed.

  5. bitteroptimist Says:

    As a person with multiple disabilities who benefits from medical marijuana as a prescription for the only pain relief I experience to function EVER and not to get high I would appreciate this SO MUCH. It would make my life so much easier. As a person who needs a pharmacy with access to my medicine and not as a criminal or some person in an “altered state” I would love to be able to conveniently get my prescription without having to ask for help getting somewhere.

  6. Dave+Folds Says:

    I am proud of MY neighborhood. We have been living here for 6 years now and my children are enrolled in PAS.

  7. Rex Says:


    You must be new to West Philadelphia. People live here based
    on the premise that we all will always need more mind altering
    substances. Go trip out and relax Mr Sandman

  8. Nick Lai Says:

    This seems like a forum that needs some Swirl Café- West Philadelphia’s number one most popular soft serve!

    You’ve been swirled!

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