News, Pennsylvania

Can cannabis research save Pa’s struggling, post-industrial towns? | Monday Morning Coffee

Original Source: Pennsylvania Capital-Star Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers. We’ve been hearing a lot of arguments this year for legalizing recreational cannabis. Criminal justice reformers see it as a way to end barriers to employment for users who have been pinched for enjoying the herb every now and again. Medical advocates see already legalized medical marijuana as a ticket to pain relief for any number of maladies. And then, of course, there’s the salutary benefit that legalized weed could have on the state’s bottom line. And as our new friends at POSTINDUSTRIAL point out, there’s a chance that marijuana research could be an economic savior for such Pennsylvania towns as Farrell, Pa., in Mercer County, which is still trying to rebound from more than 30 years under state oversight. More from POSTINDUSTRIAL: “On the site of the former Sharon Steel Corp., FarmaceuticalRX has a cultivation center and laboratory as part of a sweeping plan to research cannabis. Company officials hope their effort will help rebuild the region and this slip of a town, which in February emerged from a state program for financially distressed municipalities after more than 30 years — longer than any other community in Pennsylvania.“’The whole model is to replace industries of the past with industries of the future,’ said Rebecca Myers, founder and CEO of FarmaceuticalRX. “Myers said the company was thoughtful when it selected a location. “We are taking these old industrial buildings, and we are cleaning them and repurposing them into a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical business.” Granted, the federal government still considers marijuana a controlled substance, but that hasn’t stopped “a burgeoning industry with a high cost of entry. In Pennsylvania, grower-processor license applications alone required proof of $2 million in capital and a $10,000 fee,” POSTINDUSTRIAL reports. And if that means that such small communities as Farrell are elevated as a result of this booming industry, the community’s mayor says she’s just fine with it. ““It was time to come out,” three-term Mayor Olive McKeithan told the online news org. “Farrell has such a stigma and that stigma needed to be lifted.”