9/15/20 Updated with the new parking lot.
8/5/2020 CORRECTION: Jushi own’s Vireo/1937, not Prime wellness as previously reported.
This is second of a new series of articles that will detail what to expect from every dispensary company operating a location in Pennsylvania based on personal visits. As always- please understand that I am a patient as well and my writing time is severely curtailed by my migraines and other maladies. Like the rest of the work on this site, this is not a paid advertisement but a patient resource written by patients for patients on the Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis industry.
Thank you for your patience and support!
300 Cherry Street
Reading, PA 19602
I received a text from a friend the day Beyond/Hello opened their Reading location around a week ago- and was surprised to discover that this dispensary opened in my backyard. (I live in Exeter)
Reading has been in desperate need of more variety; our market has been consistently the highest priced in the state without the per capita income per resident to justify such irrational increase in Berks county over our wealthier neighbors in Dauphin, Chester, and Montgomery.
The greater the competition between local dispensary companies the lower the prices ensue as a result; and that results in a more robust cannabis industry economy for the region creating both more relief for patients and more jobs for our local economy.
Enter Beyond/Hello, a company already well established and popular in the Philadelphia metropolitan area for their low prices and extensive menu, this dispensary brings welcome competition and deeply needed further cannabis competence to Berks county.
They are owned by parent company Jushi, which also owns Nira CBD, as well as The Lab and The Bank . Beyond/Hello is their only retail arm presently found in Pennsylvania; however Jushi also recently acquired the brand Vireo/1937.
Here is a summary of what to expect when you visit Beyond/Hello, Reading:
Initial Phone Call
I call prior to any potential visit to a dispensary, I prefer not give my business to any company that is either unfriendly or unhelpful; I prefer not to set myself up for a negative experience nor would I set myself up to purchase medicine from any company I cannot support. I strongly believe in voting with your money to support dispensaries with excellent patient care.
My basic questions were as follows:
Can I reserve my order online if it is my first visit? (Yes)
When can I place my order/How long is it held? (Same day, after open, and until close)
How long are the average waits? (Under 15 minutes)
Where do I park? (Right out front with the meters or in the brick parking lot across from Judy’s on Cherry)
Both times I called, the staff was friendly, informative, and very helpful.
Click here for their online menu.
Flower: $12-$14 per gram $42-$60 per 8th (3.5g), and $80-$100 for a quarter (7g) Currently, some of the best flower prices in the state. There is a wide selection on all available sizes up to 7g.
For Vapes/Cartridges Disposables run from $30-$40 and Carts from $40-$60 per 500mg, which is right on par with the state average.
Extracts and Concentrates: $60-$85 per full gram- This is slightly lower than the state average overall. It should be noted a full gram syringes are currently going for $80 which is far below the country average.
Tinctures, Topicals, and Gear are some of the better prices in the state overall with most items coming in at either exactly average or slightly lower than local competition.
Discounts are available for Veterans, Seniors, and by filling out their social media card given at the time of your first purchase– by giving discounts based on social media engagement- this explains why Beyond/Hello has such a rapid response time as a company to patient concerns.
For Reading, here is the current Discount structure:
Veterans and Seniors have a tiered discount system around 20% off
Prime Wellness Discount of 15% for Prime Wellness employees.
(Prime is the closest grow facility to this location and they try to maintain positive relations with their staff.)
New Patient Discounts are as follows:
All new patients have three coupons in the system that can each be applied each to a single purchase
$20 off of $!00
$10 off of $50
and $5 off any medication
As always, call the store for more detailed information about current promotions and sales events.
They will offer to sign you up for their loyalty program which can be accessed via the following QR code:
Each dollar spent equals a point in their point system; here are the reward levels:
200 points: $14 off your purchase
400 points: $32 off your purchase
600 points: $55 off your purchase
800 points: $80 off your purchase
1000 points: $100 off your purchase
How To Get There
Beyond/Hello Reading is located next to Judy’s on Cherry and across from the parking lot of Jimmy Kramer’s Peanut bar. Either are excellent choices for takeout while you are in the area. Also of note, the popular Ugly Oyster Drafthaus is also a short walk down Cherry if you would like some extra exercise.
Via Public Transportation: According to the BARTA website, most of the Reading bus traffic through Downtown Reading will take you within short walking distance of Beyond/Hello. However, the closest bus stop is located on 4th and Cherry via bus routes 9, 10, and 11.
By Car: Although there are several methods that Google Maps suggests, the easiest by far is to take 422 towards Reading and Exit at the 422 BUS East/ Penn Street Exit. Turn right at South 4th Street then make your next right onto Cherry Street.
Where to Park: Two options: there is a free parking lot just past the building. If mobility is an issue, metered curbside parking is also an option for a quarter per every fifteen minutes.
What to Expect Your First Visit:
Finding the camera and doorbell the first time was slightly difficult-
It’s on the right-hand wall when you face the door.
After showing your identification, you will be buzzed in promptly based on their COVID-19 capacity limit of no more than three (masked) customers in the waiting area and retail space, respectively.
At the front desk, you will be asked to fill out a one-side sheet with your contact information . Once you pick up your clipboard, you will be motioned to walk around the reception desk on the right. An armed security guard will open the door to the patient waiting area for you where you may take a seat and finish your contact sheet which you can return to the reception staff upon completion.
Your budtender will retrieve you when it is your turn to visit the retail area and guide you to their register. If you have an online order you may pick it up or change it at this time. If I am unable to visit the dispensary early in the day, I will often reserve the best product I see online at open only to find a new shipment arrived in the interim; Beyond/Hello employees have no problem with changed prior to purchase at the register.
For First Time Patients: You can choose to either schedule an appointment with the pharmacist or meet with him for a walk-in consultation. I chose the latter and was given a more detailed sheet of medical information to fill out that included my prescriptions as well as my qualifying conditions.
I was impressed that he checked my conventional prescriptions for possible interactions with medical cannabis.
For patients entirely new to medical cannabis, the pharmecist and the budtenders at this location are a two-part equation. There is the over 30+ years of conventional pharmaceutical experience with the pharmacist who can discuss any technical concerns for the medications- but as for recommendations of specific strains, that is jurisdiction of the budtenders who are both refreshingly knowledgeable on the entirety of their inventory.
Beyond/Hello budtenders have proven to be in the upper echelon of all the dispensaries I have visited thus far and would trust them as fully as I would those at Cure, Lancaster or Keystone Shops.
Each dispensary company has their own ideas of how customers would like to best carry their purchases: Beyond/Hello has put a great deal of thought and consideration for their patient base with their discrete drawstring. Behold!
This is a large, flexible, possibly water-resistant drawstring bag of some size that can easily be worn over the shoulder hands free, can be hidden under your arm or under a loose shirt; blessedly unadorned with cannabis culture dog whistles of visible pot leaf symbolism guard against unwanted attention once outside their walls. Patients also receive a dollar off each time they return with their bag.
Also of note- my original bag got caught on my car door and ripped- they happily replaced it at no extra charge.
If there is a keyword I can associate with this Dispensary, it would be Necessity: This location is both a necessity to break the former monopoly of high-priced Harvest, and unlike other Beyond/Hello locations, the decor is particularly sparse and utilitarian.
Then again, they just opened last week so I am excited to see what the future holds both in how the dispensary decorations will evolve, and more importantly, how this will positively influence the Reading market to a higher standard of competitive prices and service to patients ✨