Civic, business leaders get tour of Dharma facility at ribbon-cutting

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BRISTOL, Va. ? Dozens of civic and business leaders toured Dharma Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday, the first and only time guests will be allowed to see the production facilities of the new CBD and THC-A oil products company.

Dharma, which received its pharmaceutical processor permit from the Virginia Board of Pharmacy on Tuesday, is located inside the former JCPenney at the vacant Bristol Mall.

?It looks like a totally different place from the last time I was here,? said Bristol Virginia Mayor Neal Osborne, who thanked Dharma officials for their efforts to transform the mall space.

Beth Rhinehart, president and CEO of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, welcomed guests for a ribbon-cutting inside the employee entrance at Dharma. Three founders, Chief Operating Officer Jack Page, Chief Executive Officer Shanna Berry and Chief Pharmacy Officer Michael Johnson, introduced themselves to the community. All three executives are from Southwest Virginia.

Rhinehart shared that she grew up behind the mall site, which was once a horse farm. Now, she said, part of the old mall has been transformed into Dharma, which officials said is a highly secure facility. She thanked Dharma for investing in Bristol.

Dharma?s goal is to change the way people view medical cannabis products, said Berry, who gave a presentation on the company?s programs. She noted that the substances have a taboo.

?We?re more concerned about what comes in than what goes out,? said Berry, referring to security at Dharma.

Berry added that the products made at Dharma may help with the region?s opioid epidemic as fewer people seek opioids.

Several security officers observed visitors as they toured the facility Wednesday. Cellphones, cameras and recording devices were not permitted in the production rooms, where no plants had yet been introduced.

Courtesy of Bristol Herald Courier –

Photo by Andre Teague/Bristol Herald Courier