In April of 2016, the state of Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana, and since then the commonwealth has seen much-needed dispensaries provide critical medical relief to patients with serious medical conditions. One of those dispensaries, Restore Integrative Wellness Center, opened its doors in the City of Brotherly Love over a year ago and has gained momentous popularity with its programs and services. The recipe for Restore’s success is simply caring about its products, locations and, most importantly, its patients.
Restore recently celebrated its one-year anniversary at its Fishtown location on May 30, and the staff, including manager Rob Stanley, could not be more thrilled at the success of the dispensary. “I just want people to understand the gratitude that we have for being open in Philadelphia for over a year,” says Stanley.
Since opening its doors, Restore’s products have been wildly sought-after, and it’s easy to see why after witnessing the effort that goes into its services.
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“We are one of the only privately owned dispensaries in Pennsylvania. We were the first to open in Philadelphia last year. We recently opened our second location in Elkins Park and we are opening our third location in Doylestown toward the end of the summer. We were awarded the second round of licenses, and hopefully next year we will have six locations in the Greater Philadelphia area as well,” says Stanley. “Right now, we are looking around for different locations and trying to gauge where we can best serve the patients. If there is an area of the state that doesn’t have that many dispensaries, we might look there.”
Dispensaries may provide care for some, but they cause a bit of distress for others. Stanley and the crew at Restore are hoping to break that stigma. “Some people may have a preconceived notion about what [Restore is]. We are very professional and very patient-focused. We do have a pharmacist on staff at all times, so when first-time patients come in they sit down with the pharmacist for a consultation. They go over their doctor’s recommendations and look over the products we have available at the dispensary and come up with a plan and care for the patient,” says Stanley. “[People can] also come into the dispensary and speak to some of our dispensary agents. A few of them are also patients, so they have a real empathy with being able to talk to people and being able to understand where people are coming from with the different ailments they have. Our pharmacist follows up with our patients over the course of a few days and a couple of weeks later just to make sure that they’re not having any problems or any adverse reactions to the medicine, and [to see] if we need to adjust anything they are using.”
Contrary to some beliefs, patients who come to Restore are not just looking to “party,” but more so need the medicinal benefits the dispensary provides. “We have a large demographic of older patients who are dealing with Parkinson’s, cancer, and we have a large population of veterans with PTSD and chronic pain. Opioid dependency also became one of the conditions that you were allowed to be prescribed a medical marijuana card in the state [for], and we’ve seen some folks that are trying to get off opioids that are using medical marijuana. It has worked wonders for them so far.”
How do you get a card? If you suffer from one of the conditions required by the Department of Health to receive a card, your next step is fairly easy. “You would have to register on the Department of Health website and then go to a doctor who is registered with the Department of Health that can prescribe you a medical marijuana card,” says Stanley. “They’ll give you an examination and then they send the department information to have the card sent to you.”
Any Philadelphian interested can also check out Restore’s website. The dispensary has a link for the different doctors that are registered in the state of Pennsylvania and there is also a link to the Department of Health if people need to register for or renew their card. Restore also offers rewards programs and deals for different customer groups; more information is available on its website.
The dispensary is true to its name: The staff want to help restore your quality of life, well-being and overall happiness through medical marijuana. The appeal of Restore is not just in the product, it’s also in the staff that work there. Every single person cares and it truly shows.
Restore Integrative Wellness Center is located at 957 Frankford Ave., Philadelphia, and 8003 Old York Rd., Elkins Park. A third location will open in Doylestown at 812 North Easton Rd. at the end of the summer. For more information, visit restoreiwc.com.