Solevo Wellness—Providing Pain Relief for Thousands

By Janice Lane Palko

Until Pennsylvania Act 16 was signed into law in 2016, many Pennsylvanians had no other option but to suffer with pain. With the passing of that legislation and the opening of three Solevo Wellness medical marijuana dispensaries locally, thousands of Pennsylvanians certified with certain medical conditions can now obtain relief with quality medical marijuana products.

Solevo’s 5600 Forward Avenue location opened on February 15, 2018, in Squirrel Hill, and the second location in Butler County at Jackson’s Pointe Plaza, Cranberry/Zelienople, opened November 20, 2018. The third location opened a month later in Westmoreland County in Greensburg at 305 E. Pittsburgh Street on December 20. 2018.

Solevo Wellness is a private company based in Pittsburgh and whose investors include physicians, health professionals and individuals who believe in investing in the community and responsibly meeting the needs of patients with quality care and treatment.

“Our investors, many of whom are physicians, recognized the community’s need for medical marijuana. They’ve done the research and know that medical marijuana does help people. We’ve seen the results,” said Sam Britz, Chief Operating Officer. “We also know that there is still a bit of a stigma attached to medical marijuana, but in addition to providing care to patients, we are also focused on providing education to health care professionals, patients, caregivers and the community to dispel that stigma.”

Initially, there were 17 approved medical conditions for which patients could receive medical marijuana, but in April 2018, four more qualifying medical conditions were added. “Some of qualifying medical conditions include epilepsy, neuropathy, Parkinson’s Disease, chronic pain, cancer and terminal illness,” said Patrick Gannon, Solevo’s Marketing Director.  

Annie Corbin is the Pediatrics Director for Solevo Wellness. A Pittsburgh native, she worked in Colorado in the industry and welcomed the chance to return to Pittsburgh and bring her expertise and experience to area children and their families. “Medical marijuana use can help with autism, epilepsy, pediatric cancers and brain cancer,” said Ms. Corbin, who works with parents and children to find the most therapeutic benefit from medical marijuana.

“Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program has certified autism as one of the qualifying conditions. The state is only one of a few to do so,” said Mr. Gannon. “We are fortunate to be able to help these children, and we know parents need guidance when seeking to obtain medical marijuana for their children.”

Solevo Wellness has aided patients of all ages. “One day we had a two-year-old child and a person in their 90s come in, but our average patient is in their 50s,” said Mr. Britz. “Presently, we see about 200 patients per day per location.”

The process for receiving medical marijuana is not complicated. Essentially, if you have one of the 21 qualifying conditions recorded on your medical records, you need only to present your medical records to a certifying physician, and if approved, apply for a medical marijuana card. Once you receive your card, you can come to Solevo Wellness and work with their professionals to identify the strain of medical marijuana that will benefit you most. The Pennsylvania Department of Health maintains a list of Medical Marijuana Approved Practitioners on its website if your physician is not certified.

Medical marijuana comes in several forms from creams that do not penetrate the blood stream and provide localized pain relief to ingestibles like capsules and tinctures that are applied under the tongue to inhalables like vape cartridges. By law, growers of medical marijuana must be located in Pennsylvania, and their products are tested by independent laboratories for purity and quality.

“We see patients coming in looking anxious and unsure, but then after they meet our pharmacists and patient care consultants and learn about how medical marijuana can help their condition, you see them walking out of here smiling. That’s so gratifying,” said Mr. Gannon.

For more information on Solevo Wellness, visit the website at: www.solevowellness.com.