Liberty Cannabis in Bensalem aims to provide a calming and informative experience for patients
By Samantha Bambino
A new type of business has opened its doors in Bensalem. Boasting modern couches and a cozy atmosphere, it’s not exactly a doctor’s office. But with its onsite pharmacist, it’s not quite a spa, either.
The latest arrival at 4201 Neshaminy Blvd., directly across from the Neshaminy Mall, is Liberty Cannabis, a medical marijuana dispensary that began welcoming patients on Monday, Nov. 12. This location joins Liberty’s two additional Pennsylvania dispensaries located in Norristown and Philadelphia.
According to Steve Harrell, Pennsylvania marketing manager, the mission of Liberty is to elevate the medical marijuana experience. While many dispensaries offer a sterile-looking, hospital environment, Liberty is different. It’s bright and welcoming.
When a patient walks in, they’re greeted by a concierge, who scans their medical marijuana patient card to ensure they’re a registered patient. Next, they’re able to relax on one of several couches while browsing a Wellness Guide, which explains each product offered. The patient then consults with a staff pharmacist, who fulfills the order and brings it to them.
The products, which are personally grown by Liberty in New Castle, Lawrence County, are organized in an easy-to-follow way. Customers can choose between three strains — sativa, which is the most uplifting; indica, which acts as a sedative; or hybrid, which is a cross between the two.
On the floor of Liberty, the strains are categorized into five sections — Vitality, which is all sativa; Clarity, a sativa hybrid that has some indica effects; Harmony, a perfect balance of both; Tranquility, an indica hybrid that has some sativa effects; and Serenity, which is all indica and helps people sleep, unwind and relax.
“So you have the wakeup, the sort of both, and then the go to sleep,” Harrell said. “It’s easy when people come in.”
For example, if someone wants a strain that won’t make them feel drowsy during the day, the pharmacist will point them toward Vitality or Clarity. Meanwhile, if a person needs help sleeping or is suffering from restless leg syndrome, they’ll be directed toward Tranquility and Serenity.
So who exactly are Liberty’s customers?
“Right now in Pennsylvania, it’s a little over 20 qualifying conditions. We see people of all ages, sizes and shapes, you name it,” said Harrell, who has a medical marijuana patient card himself. He obtained one after suffering chronic back pain following a bad car accident.
“It’s physical therapy and vicodin. That’s what doctors are trained to do, and that’s something that I just did not want to do. I didn’t want to take pills,” Harrell said. “So we’ll see people that are trying to get off of opioids. We’ll see people that are cancer patients that are looking for something different in their chemotherapy treatments. It’s really all across the board when it comes to the qualifying conditions.”
At Liberty, customers can simply walk in during open hours.
“That’s the beauty of it. We always have an on-staff pharmacist at every location so for right now, no appointment is necessary,” said Harrell. “Just come in.”
First-time patients will need to complete a new patient intake form, which will ask them to provide basic information and list their qualifying conditions.
“It helps to prep the conversation with the pharmacist so they know what they’re looking for. They can recommend certain strains or certain products that we carry,” Harrell said.
Not only will the pharmacist determine the proper strain, they’ll make suggestions on the most beneficial form. Liberty’s products are offered several ways, including vape cartridges, lotions, edibles in the form of pills (it’s not allowed to sell food yet) and tinctures, which are drops that can be placed on the tongue or in a drink.
For Harrell, a highlight of Liberty’s services is its website, which features a product menu that’s updated every hour on the hour.
“You hear it a lot where, oh I checked out the menu but it wasn’t updated, or I saw the menu and I came in and you were out of a product,” he said. “We’re patient-first and the industry is still in its infancy, so it’s a learning process for everybody. But one of the things that I first started working on was building out what we’re calling a live menu. So if people go to our website and they click on the Bensalem menu, they’ll actually see what we have in the store right now. And there’s a good chance if you’re coming within that hour, it will still be there.”
So far, Liberty has received positive feedback from the community during its first few weeks of operation. According to Harrell, there was a significant need in the area for something like this.
“As you can imagine, it’s tough for people to get around. So even though we have a location that’s about 15–20 minutes from here, it could still be tough,” Harrell said. “We saw a nice outpouring of people that wanted it in Bensalem and Bucks County as a whole. For us, it just made logical sense.” ••
For more information on Liberty Cannabis, visit LibertyDispensaryPA.com.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org