LOWER POTTSGROVE >> Although plans for a medical marijuana growing facility off Porter Road are literally underground plans, one of the driving forces behind the proposal truly wants to bring the benefits of the medicine up into the light.

Not only is Geoff Whaling the president of Douglassville-based Bunker Botanicals LLC — which is one of hundreds of proposals seeking a growing license under Pennsylvania’s new medical marijuana law — he is also an advocate for expanding the plant’s use for medical purposes.

And he’s not alone.

Present for a tour of the Cold War-era bunker Friday were two members of his board whose names might sound familiar to sports fans — former Philadelphia Flyer Riley Cote and former Denver Bronco Charlie Adams.

They are two of numerous athletes discovering the benefits of medical cannabis for everything from pain relief, to post traumatic stress disorder and the long-term physical effects of repeated concussions so common in professional athletes.


Whaling has organized them into a group called Athletes for a CARE, which stands for Cannabis Advocacy Research and Education and includes Super Bowl ring winner Marvin Washington, and fellow NFL veterans Todd Herreman, Eben Britton and Nate Jackson.

And just Thursday, Whaling, who is already the president of the Pennsylvania Hemp Association, was named chairman of the National Hemp Association.

“So I guess you could say I was really an advocate before I was a businessman,” he said.

“People need to realize that there are 85 elements to this plant. One is THC, which is the hallucinogenic and is used in pain relief; and the other is CBD, which is only just beginning to be understood and is turning out to be extremely effective in treating neurological disorders,” he said.

A native Canadian, where medical marijuana has been legal for

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