(This message was sent to the Local by TerraVida Holistic Centers.)

We are writing in response to Ms. Carol Scott’s letter to the editor posted Aug. 16. TerraVida and owners Chris Visco and Adina Birnbaum are here to answer questions, address community concerns and work towards a resolution in the best interest of the community. We will meet with anyone at anytime. You may contact us at info@terravidahc.com, through our website at www.terravidahc.com, or message us on Facebook TerraVida Holistic Centers.

In addition, we would like to talk about the following rumors about the medical marijuana business.

RUMOR: We will be an all cash business.

FACT: We will not be an all cash business. We have already found two banks with credit card/debit card options. In addition, we plan to have an ATM inside our building.

RUMOR: We will have armed guards.

FACT: We have no intention of having armed guards. We are required to have one security guard on the premises 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and another security guard to check people in. Our security officers will be ex-military and ex-police officers.

RUMOR: We will make the neighborhood less safe.

FACT: This has not been the case in other cities. We believe that the additional security cameras and staff will make this community more safe. Nobody is even allowed inside our facility without a recommendation from their doctor, photo ID and a state card. As State Sen. Daylin Leach stated on a radio show last week, “There is no reason to believe that there will be an influx of crime for several reasons. First of all, that has not been the history in other states; in fact, crime goes down when cannabis protocols are adopted. Number two, these are going to be highly secure facilities. If you want to commit a crime, the dumbest place in the world to do it is in a casino; they are being watched from 15 different angles by cameras, and there is lots of security nearby. The second dumbest place to be involved in crime is a cannabis dispensary. There will be cameras inside and out, and there will be security. That’s not where you want to go to commit crime. There is no value to committing a crime there. It’s like saying because a CVS sells opioids, there will be an increase of crime if we open a CVS, and that again is just not true. Again, not only is there no evidence that there will be an increase in crime. I don’t even think there is a logic to it.”

RUMOR: We reached out to the other communities we applied in and ignored Mount Airy.

FACT: One of the properties on our application was located in Lancaster, and before the application was due, the only person we had met with in person was our realtor. The application process gave applicants very little time to find buildings that met zoning regulations.

RUMOR: We have not reached out to this community.

FACT: TerraVida hand-delivered over 125 letters to the immediate neighbors. Even before our license was granted by the state, TerraVida attended a community meeting that Councilwoman Cherelle Parker graciously organized. After the community meeting, TerraVida again hand-delivered letters inviting individuals to meet with us. We had our security team and the local police available to meet with the neighbors, but no one attended.

RUMOR: Chris Visco said that we were “going to fight”.

FACT: Those words were a reporter’s words, who said we were going to fight the appeal of our by-right zoning. We have great respect for this community, and we are dedicated to being good neighbors and community members.

Again, we are here to answer questions, address community concerns and work toward a resolution in the best interest of the community. We will meet with anyone at any time. You may contact us at info@terravidahc.com, through our website at www.terravidahc.com or message us on Facebook TerraVida Holistic Centers.


  • Anne Smith

    Hoping this all works out. There is a huge need for such programs in the community…

  • Jenny

    I have known Adina Birnbaum for years as a neighbor, friend, and community leader, and have great respect for her in every way. She is a great businesswoman as well–ask her to tell you about her wonderful long-time store in Chestnut Hill as well as her newer venture in Flourtown. Rumors such as those above simply show that some people don’t know her yet, not to mention the novelty of the dispensaries to our area.

  • Maria

    No thanks…put it in Center CIty.

    • Chyna Whyte

      Why Center City and not one by where we actually live? Many of us live in the Mt. Airy/Chestnut Hill Area and this would have been convenient.
      I’m curious as to what you think a dispensary really is? Let me tell what it is for someone with health issues like mine and millions of other Pennsylvanians, Philadelphians and Veterens. To us, it’s a pharmacy. It’s where we get our medication. YES, I said medication. Marijuana isnt a taboo word. It’s a naturally grown medicine that treats numerous ailments both physical and mental WITHOUT the nasty side effects of big pharma meds. That’s so important to someone who takes in upwards of 30 prescription meds a day.
      I get it though. You dont want “sick” people in your neighborhood. Difference is, 1, this isnt a methadone clinic and 2, WE pay for our meds out of our pockets. The government isnt supplying it for us and we arent junkies.
      Another thing, IF a methadone clinic is needed in this area, I for 1 accept, support and will show love to anyone trying to better themselves.
      Perhaps, you should open your eyes to the possibilities of the world around you. Food for thought.
      Be blessed.