When Colorado opened up its laws to legalize marijuana, Christopher Woods saw it as a business opportunity. When Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana in 2016, he saw it as another business opportunity — and a chance to give back to his home state.

“I’m so happy to come back home and give jobs to people in rural Pennsylvania,” he said.

Woods, who grew up in Lower Makefield and attended Holy Ghost Prep in Bensalem, is the head of Terrapin Care Station, one of 12 companies selected by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to grow and process medical marijuana. The facility will be constructed in Clinton County, near the town of Jersey Shore. 

“Obviously, I have a connection with central Pennsylvania,” said Woods, who attended nearby Penn State and graduated with a biomedical engineering degree in 2005. “Logistically speaking, it makes sense to have a central distribution center that is about three hours from Philadelphia and three hours from Pittsburgh.”

Woods, 34, said he’s always had a passion for reform and developing sensible drug policy.

“I also wanted to create jobs and a business that would have a good community impact, and medical marijuana was a good way to do that,” he said.

Woods said he also was drawn to the central Pennsylvania because occupancy costs there are “significantly less” than they would be in the cities. 

The state legalized medical marijuana in April 2016, but limited the number of grower/processors to 12 companies. Pennsylvania was divided into six areas, with each area receiving two grower/processors. Terrapin, based in Colorado, was one of 17 companies vying for one of the spots in the north central region. The southeast region, which contains Bucks County, was the most competitive with 46 applicants. There were 177 applications submitted statewide for grower/processors.

Woods said he expects the facility to employ about 50

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