When Bell's doors first opened at the corner of Kaighn and Haddon avenues, Albert Einstein and Edwin Hubble were researchers at California Institute of Technology; Bela Lugosi was starring in the first Dracula movie; construction of the Empire State Building had just ended and had just begun on Rockefeller Center; "The Star-Spangled Banner" was adopted as the U.S. national anthem; and marijuana had yet to be federally banned, so pharmacies like Bell sold cannabis products.
Bell will soon begin selling marijuana and cannabis products again: Once it receives state approval, Anthony Minniti and his sister and Bell co-owner Marian Morton will begin offering medicinal marijuana through the pharmacy's existing storefront; in a renovated two-story building adjacent to the pharmacy, Camden Apothecary will sell cannabis and marijuana products meant for recreational users.
It is, said Minniti, the first time a recreational dispensary will be connected to a pharmacy in the U.S., though they will operate as two separate businesses.
"We took this on based on our customers' feedback," he explained. Older people began asking Minniti, a pharmacist, about medical marijuana to help with aches, pains and chronic conditions, seeking more natural alternatives to powerful pain medications.
"The closest dispensary is in Bellmawr," he added, a challenge for people who may not be able to drive or have access to a car. "People with (medicinal marijuana) cards would ask if they can get it here."