The Healing Center
“The stigma of the cannabis industry had no effect on The Progress Fund,” which financed the $700,000 gap.
The medicinal power of marijuana hit home for Jay Richards because the herb eased the pain of his sister’s Crohn’s Disease – when she could get it. In 2010, years after his sister passed, Jay, a homebuilder and “serial entrepreneur,” learned that his interest was shared by his friend Chris Kohan, a longtime media pro. Over some 30 trips to Harrisburg, they got to know parents pleading for legalization of marijuana for their seizure-plagued kids. The two businessmen shared their lobbying finesse as the parents’ group, Campaign 4 Compassion, grew to thousands. “People thought we were nuts,” says Jay. “So we just kept lobbying, kept pushing.” In 2016, a bill legalizing medical marijuana became law in Pennsylvania.
The stigma against marijuana extends to most banks, says Jay. Eventually, though, he and Chris found a bank that loaned half of the cost of a dispensary – and that steered them to The Progress Fund. “The stigma of the cannabis industry had no effect on The Progress Fund,” which financed the $700,000 gap, says Jay.
The Healing Center’s Washington location opened in June. “We’ve got several thousand medical clients that we’re now serving,” says Jay. “We provide a safe, compassionate environment where there is no stigma.” They hired a diverse crew of 40, and with the opening of a new dispensary in Cranberry, they’ll employ dozens more. “They love the fact that it’s a new industry poised for growth,” Jay says. “This is long overdue. It’s a breath of fresh air.”View Story as PDF »