The company with the permit for a state-approved medical marijuana dispensary site on West Ridge Road in Fairview is commenting on the latest delay.

Pete Kadens, Director and CEO of GTI, Green Thumb Industries, told Erie News Now, "The company has encountered some challenges with the real estate, and it has brought that to the attention of regulators."  The regulators and Medical Marijuana Advisory Board are under the umbrella of the PA Department of Health which is governing Pennsylvania's new medical marijuana program. 

Erie News Now has reported a number of times on a lack of activity at the GTI Erie dispensary site at 7789 West Ridge Road, including extensions on a closing date to purchase the property.

On September 12, Kadens told us by phone his company was going forward on that site, but added, "Before we close on the property we need to do some environmental testing because the facility was a former gas station, there were underground tanks we have to evaluate to make sure there are no groundwater contamination issues of any kind."

At this time, Kadens said his company is collaborating with state regulators, "to determine the next best steps." He would not say yet, if that could mean moving the dispensary to a different site.

The dispensary was to be ready for operation by the end of December, but because of the challenges with the site, GTI will not make that deadline. A hiring fair for jobs at the dispensary is also delayed. That is not expected to put Erie behind other communities in receiving medical marijuana to dispense.  GTI Pennsylvania, LLC is also one of the companies approved to grow medical marijuana at a site in Danville, Pennsylvania. Kadens said there would not be any product ready, for six weeks.