Dispensary Profile: The Apothecarium, Lancaster

This is a third 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.

If you would like to financially thank the author for this endeavor, you may paypal.me/renalexanders
Thank you for your patience and support!

The Apothecarium Lancaster is worth a road trip. Find route 30, Drive towards Lancaster. It’s near Dutch Wonderland

Ilera remains one of the most agile and adaptive brands in our medical cannabis marketplace with their focus both on constantly improving their patient care and their product quality; as well as innovation in creating new blends, products, and methods of lowering production costs for Pennsylvania patients.

However, Ilera had to rebrand all their dispensaries to name ‘The Apothecarium’ to differentiate more clearly between the dispensaries themselves and customer service for all Ilera products. Regardless, Apothecarium locations remain the absolute locus for all Ilera products in all their forms; and typically at lower price points than non-Ilera dispensaries.

Although the staff at Apothecarium remain incredibly knowledgeable regarding the entire line of Ilera products; for information on the strains in Ilera blends or questions on Ilera products purchased outside of Apothecarium dispensaries, please call the Ilera customer service number at (717) 610-4165 x100 or fill out their contact form online HERE. Apothecarium wellness associates cannot assist with Ilera products purchased at other dispensaries.

The Apothecarium opened their Lancaster location during the height of COVID-19, and since they are not-quite-visible from the road in all directions, it still feels as if Pennsylvania has slept on their opening. Yet, with new patients receiving their MMJ cards daily and researching their nearest dispensaries, The Apothecarium’s positive reputation is growing, and primarily via word of mouth.

Both dispensaries in Lancaster are exceptional in patient-centered care. Neither Apothecarium (nor their geographically closest competitor, Cure) can be accused of being thinly-veiled recreational markets: Both companies have more in common with pharmacies over headshops and Lancaster remains a great city to visit for the first introduction to Pennsylvania dispensaries.

Location Visited:
The Apothecarium Lancaster: 
2405 Covered Bridge Drive
Lancaster PA, 17602
(717) 803-2420 (Spanish available)
Dispensary Website: https://apothecariumpa.com/lancaster/
Product Website: https://ilerahealthcare.com/
Email: lancasterreception@apothecariumpa.com

Hours:
10am-8pm Monday-Friday
10am-7pm Saturday
11am-5pm Sunday

Company Information
The Apothecarium is owned by parent company TerrAscend which is based in Mississauga, Ontario. Naturally, TerrAscend also owns Ilera, as well as the out-of-state brand’s State Flower, Valhalla, Funky Farms, Original Hemp, Haven St, and Ascendant Labs.

Historically, TerrAscend held one of the first Phase-1 licenses in Pennsylvania holding both a retail as well as a cultivation permit. Their in-state operations office is based in King of Prussia and their cultivation and processing facility is located in East Falls, Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, The Apothecarium is fully vertically integrated with Ilera; meaning their primary supply chain is within their organization relying far less on drops from other manufacturers versus other dispensaries in the immediate region. With only three dispensary locations in Lancaster, Thorndale, and Plymouth Meeting, The Apothecarium is uniquely insulated against the product shortages that plague several other companies.

Here is a summary of what to expect when you visit The Apothecarium, Lancaster:

Initial Phone Call

I call before any potential visit to a dispensary, I prefer not to give my business to any company that is either unfriendly or unhelpful; preferring not to set myself up for a negative experience. Further, I strongly believe in voting with your dollars to support dispensaries with excellent patient care.

Every time I called Apothecarium Lancaster, each wellness associate was friendly, informative, and very helpful.

There are three menu options on their phone system.
Option 1 is general inquiries/scheduling a consult.
Option 2 is to speak to the pharmacist.
Option 3 is to speak to a manager.

If option 1 does not pick up, the other two options are equally friendly. This is not necessarily the case for other dispensary companies.

Online Menu/Pricing
Online orders are held a full 24 hours before being restocked.
The Apothecarium utilizes both Blackbird as well as CanPay
The In-Store menu may have several more items than the blackbird menu- you may find the in-store menu online by scrolling down the website. Under the map, you will find the following section of the screen with the button to the complete in-store menu.

This button will take you to a google word document. Also accessible via mobile

The Apothecarium stocks predominantly Ilera products- although they do also carry other brands such as Moxie, Vireo, and Liberty- the best deals and selection at this location will be the Ilera brand. Apothecarium is seldom low on stock and often has the upper end of a consistent variety of both strains and forms of administration.

Click here for their online menu.

Flower: $45-$60 per 8th (3.5g), and $80-$90 for a quarter (7g). (No individual grams were listed for price comparison.)

For Vapes/Cartridges Disposables run from $24-$35 and Carts from $40-$70 per 500mg, which is right on par with the state average. 1g carts run $80-$100. Pax pods are currently $51-$70. Ilera also recently released their new liquid live resin cartridges starting at $35.

Extracts and Concentrates: $40-$50 for 500mg $65-$100 for full gram concentrates. The higher-end prices include a large selection of Crystals/Diamonds. Note, this location currently has the largest selection of 1 gram concentrates in the state at the time of this article.

Tinctures, Topicals,  are some of the better prices in the state overall and absolutely among the best selection by the sheer amount of products. Over several price pulls, Topical prices remain between $30 and $40 dollars. Tinctures run from CY sprays at $27 all the way up to Pure Penn Earl Gray at a dizzying $95

Capsules/pills: run from $16- $60 and have a wider selection than most other dispensaries.

As always, call the store for more detailed information about current promotions and sales events.

How To Get There

The Apothecarium is located conveniently on Route 30 in Lancaster within reasonable walking distance of Dutch Wonderland and the Cartoon Network hotel. The location is in the same general shopping center as Target, while the storefront is directly located between Gamestop and Petsmart, perpendicular to Route 30.

Via Public Transportation: The bus schedule may be found HERE. Lancaster’s public transit system, Red Rose Transit, has two routes that have stops at the Target shopping center across the parking lot from The Apothecarium. Route 15, Rockvale Square, and Route 21, Gap. (The bus schedule for the Gap line is changing 8/26/20.)

By Car: Route 30 (Lincoln Highway) is one of the few highways in Pennsylvania that runs the length from Pittsburgh through Philadelphia. If you are coming from the Western part of the state, you could just find your nearest junction to route 30 East until you see Dutch Wonderland- then keep your eyes on your left- shortly you will see the Target shopping center followed quickly by Covered Bridge Drive. The Apothecarium Lancaster is between the Gamestop and the Petsmart.

From Harrisburg, Elizabethtown, and other points North….Take I-283 South until you pick up Route 30 East in Lancaster- follow until you see Dutch Wonderland and follow the same directions above.
From Eastern PA– Find route 30 and keep driving West until you see signs for The Willows Covered Bridge- The Apothecarium is in the next shopping center as the Panera on your right.

From the South (Quarryville) Take either 222 N or 896 N towards Lancaster, look for Route 30.

Where to Park: Right out in front of the giant parking lot. There is no shortage of free, convenient parking. The area is safe enough I would feel unconcerned if I left my car unlocked unattended.

Curbside Pickup: Yes, Instructions for curbside pickup may be found HERE.
CURBSIDE PICKUP HOURS
Monday – Friday: 11 am – 7 pm
Saturday: 11am – 6pm
Sunday: 12pm – 4pm

What to Expect Your First Visit:
Prior to your visit, make certain you bring your State ID, PaMMJ card, and a list of your current prescriptions.

Unlike most other dispensaries, completely ignore the buzzer near the front door and just walk right into the first set of doors. At the second set of glass doors on your left-hand side, show the reception desk your card through the door. (This procedure is required by the Penns They will buzz you in promptly. Once in, hand your PAMMJ card and your Driver’s License/State ID. The wellness associate at the front desk will hand you an easy 4-page form to fill out (single-sided- more like 2 pages spread out). If you feel particularly studious, you can pre-fill out your intake form online HERE and print it out prior to your visit.

At this time, please inform the front desk if you qualify for one of their discount programs.

Discounts are available, Make certain to notify the front desk if you meet the following criteria:
20% Birthday
15% Veterans/First Responders
10% Medical Professionals
10% MMJ Industry
10% Seniors (ages 65+)

Any workplace identification can be used to claim discounts not evident by your birthdate on your state ID. (Paystub, ID tag, business card, etc.)

Visitor/Caregiver Policy
The Apothecarium allows caregivers into the facility with valid identification. They are then given a visitor badge which they must wear their entire time inside the facility.

Notes on the Lobby
While waiting in the lobby you may use your cell phone (but not on the sales floor).

The lobby is large enough to hold 12-15 waiting patients with social distancing- which may be difficult to fathom without seeing it.

The Apothecarium Lancaster Lobby:

All kidding (and long hallways) aside, this means no patients are stuck outside in the weather waiting for admittance into the facility, Also, the darker ambiance is exceptionally easy on the eyes for the photosensitive and those with sensory issues.

From here, you will either be directed to meet with one of the medical professionals on-site or to the sales floor room.

Meeting with the Medical Professional:

For patients completely new to the PaMMJ program, you are required to consult with an on-site pharmacist/medical professional at your very first visit to any Pennsylvania dispensary.

The Apothecarium Lancaster employs three medical professionals, all of which have obtained their Doctorates in Pharmacy (PharmD). My most recent visit, they were incredibly popular with new patients. So much so, it is strongly recommended to schedule your appointment online ahead of time.

Walk-ins are accepted, however, there may be a wait. If there are no times available for a consult when you wish to visit, the pharmacists are happy to arrange your consultation by phone. (My consult was by phone. It worked well.)

For all patients at Apothecarium, new to the program or not, it is highly recommended you see the medical professional your first visit. With this particular location, the time will be especially well spent. The consultation was exceedingly thorough by Pennsylvania cannabis industry standards.

During your consultation, pre-existing conditions and medications are noted to recommend the most appropriate treatment plan for your condition(s)… This is to be expected from every dispensary- however, Apothecarium takes this a necessary step further by giving the patient a full education in their preliminary appointment. The appointments last as long as the patient needs to have their questions fully answered: Plan for twenty t

Apothecarium employees, like Ilera products, are terpene focused; meaning these medical professionals are exceptionally educated on terpenes with their effects and interactions with the human body. Even further, Apothecarium doctors have access to a program that shows the terpene percentages of every strain in the state program; meaning if you record your most/least helpful strains they can help you narrow down which terpenes are the most/least beneficial to you personally.

Hence why visiting the on-site medical professional, even as an experienced patient, is worthwhile.

The Apothecarium has a fantastic advantage of several informational tri-folds that will be explored with you at this time. Here, the advantages of having a license since day one of our current medical program are seen by the plethora of material approved by the Department of Health for all their dispensaries. The amount of educational material provided is far above most other dispensaries visited.

Collect these fancy brochures and more upon your first visit to The Apothecarium. Photo by author, steal at will

The medical professional will then go through the menu with the patient to suggest strains based on the best terpene profile and delivery methods per the individual.

Once you are finished meeting with the on-site medical professional, they will guide you to the sales floor to introduce you to wellness associates of the showroom.

Visiting the Showroom

The Apothecarium Lancaster prides themselves on their open atmosphere where patients feel comfortable asking all their medical cannabis questions; this is a dispensary that truly views guests as patients rather than customers. The showroom wellness associates are as impressively educated as to the medical professionals. (With good reason, every employee at The Apothecarium is also a PaMMJ patient.) All employees on the location are passionate about medical cannabis and give well-informed product recommendations.

The transactions can go as quickly or as unrushed as the customer feels most comfortable; any order changes are easily handled and hassle-free. There are 5 registers at the counter and the size of the showroom allows for 2 patients per register for a total maximum of 10 patients permitted in the space at this time; therefore, there is seldom any waiting. By extension, this puts less pressure on patients and staff members to rush transactions. This leads to fewer mistakes at checkout making the process smoother for everyone.

The ATM is on your right-hand side in the corner of the room, the fee is $3.00- however, there are plenty of free ATMs in the surrounding area at Wawa or other similar convenience stores.

Packaging

The bags are discrete, high-quality silver gift bags without visible branding; well suited to reuse and repurposing.

Plain packaging is preferred by many patients. This sturdy grey gift bag is high enough quality to save and reuse for holiday gift giving, It looks absolutely fancy against sequins. Photo by author,

Conclusion:

If there is a keyword I can associate with this Dispensary, it would be Thorough: from their consult to their employee training- Apothecarium is one of the most conscientious and meticulous in educating and caring for Pennsylvania patients.

The Apothecarium, Lancaster was an absolute relief when they opened, being the absolute first to bring down prices for the region with extensive discounts, a greater variety of products with items in every category at the lower than the state price average. Their selection is above average in strain variety since they have the entire line of Ilera products to support their dispensaries, which surprisingly does not seem to limit them.

The Apothecarium is a fantastic line of dispensaries, the only pity is there are not more of them!✨

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