New medical marijuana dispensaries will open Friday in South Philadelphia and on City Avenue, a major shopping drag.

Herbology, owned by Illinois-based Grassroots Cannabis, is cutting the ribbon on its third Pennsylvania retail facility. The dispensary, at 1125 E. Passyunk Ave., has remodeled the former production offices of Viet My magazine just east of the Italian Market. Grassroots also operates a marijuana growing facility in Chambersburg and Herbology dispensaries in Gettysburg and Dubois.

Cure Pennsylvania, owned by the Denver-based commercial cannabis pioneers, also is opening its third Keystone State dispensary. The retail operation, at 4502 City Ave., has commandeered a former Jennifer Convertibles showroom across from a Lord & Taylor department store. Cure's other Southeastern Pennsylvania shops are in Lancaster and Phoenixville.

Cure is hosting an educational event on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Overbrook Park branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, spokesperson Ryan Smith said. "There's a lot of misinformation, concern, and questions about the program and medical marijuana. We will explain how it works, what the qualifying medical conditions are."

"Sometimes neighbors ask if they need to worry about smoke billowing out of the front door and people in tie-dye wandering around aimlessly in the parking lot. The answer is 'no.' There isn't any consumption allowed on site," Smith said. "We run an incredibly tight facility, and you have to show your state-issued medical marijuana card before you get inside."

On Passyunk Avenue, Herbology also plans educational and community events, said spokesperson Mahja Sulemanjee. Above the dispensary, Herbology will host yoga and wellness programs in a separate space for registered patients. Store pharmacists will be on site for weekly information and patient sign-up events.

"We already host a cancer support group and other events," Sulemanjee said. "There's quite a bit of programming already underway. That's a pillar of what we try to do."

More than 82,000 patients have registered with the Pennsylvania program, and more than 50,000 have received their medical marijuana cards.

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