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Career-wise, Chris Visco has done it all. She was a buyer for Boscov’s and David’s Bridal. Contract work for the Department of Justice had her working with prison inmates. She’s been a baker, a social media campaigner and a political strategist. Now, she owns Pennsylvania’s largest medical marijuana dispensary.

With locations in Abington, Malvern and Sellersville, TerraVida Holistic Centers began to take shape when Visco and her business partners started the license application process in June 2016. “It’s a highly restricted, very highly regulated marketplace,” she says. “The process for applying was monumental.”

And it held no guarantees. But the gamble paid off, and Visco opened her first location in early 2018. Since then, TerraVida has seen more than 25,000 patients.

Visco continues to be astounded by the impact medical marijuana can have on patients, whether it’s increased appetite for those undergoing chemotherapy or a decrease in episodes related to autism or PTSD. Patients range from of toddlers to people in their 90s. Visco makes herself available as a resource in the community, answering questions and educating people.

Looking ahead, Visco hopes to open additional dispensaries in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the country. So far, she is the only woman owner of a medical marijuana dispensary in the state—and she’s mindful of that. “I want to make sure my staff is equal to or better in diversity than my patient population,” she says. “Everybody should feel like they belong.

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