Ilera In the News
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LOCAL FIRM A MAJOR PRODUCER OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA
by Len Lear
Oludare Odumosu is the chief operating officer and chief scientific officer for Ilera Healthcare, headquartered in Plymouth Meeting, one of five companies licensed by the state to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana.
Michele Haines, 78, a world-traveling chef who opened Spring Mill Cafe in Conshohocken 40 years ago, was walking across the street at 4th and South Streets three years ago when she was hit by a car making a right turn. Michele flew through the air, slammed against the ground and suffered severe injuries. For many months she was prescribed extremely powerful painkillers that, not surprisingly, also had equally powerful and unwanted side effects.
“It was almost impossible to sleep,” she said.
On April 17, 2016, however, Gov. Tom Wolf signed Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program into law, making it the 24th state with a comprehensive medical marijuana program. (There are now 33 states where medical marijuana is legal.) The law – Act 16 – protects registered patients and their physicians from civil and criminal penalties and creates a well-regulated system for safe access to medical marijuana. Act 16 went into effect on May 17, 2016, and the first dispensaries began serving patients in April 2018, including Haines.
“It is not perfect, but it is a big improvement,” Haines said. “It does not do away with the pain in my back completely, but I am able to sleep much better, and there are no side effects.”
A major beneficiary of Act 16 has been Ilera Healthcare, a 75-employee firm (including its dispensary) that was born on June 17, 2017, and is housed in a building formerly occupied by the Bank of America at 420 Plymouth Rd., near Germantown Pike, less than a half-mile before the entrance to the Plymouth Meeting Mall.
Ilera is one of just five companies licensed by the state to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana, and it is the only one of the five that is “Pennsylvania conceived and born.” The others were established in other states. (There are several other companies that are licensed to grow and process, but not to dispense, and vice-versa.) Ilera’s product is grown at a facility in Fulton County in the south central part of the state.
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