John J. Collins to become Pennsylvania’s 1st Director of Medical Marijuana Office

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on August 06, 2016.

In a recent development, Pennsylvania has hired a public administrator with a private-sector background as the first director of its fledgling Office of Medical Marijuana.

Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy on Thursday announced that John J. Collins has been named director of the Office of Medical Marijuana. Collins, who currently works in the Department of Health’s HIV Care Section, will assume his new position on Aug. 8, 2016. He'll be paid around $76,519 a year.

“I am pleased to announce the department has identified a highly qualified and skilled individual from among our own staff to serve as the Director of the Office of Medical Marijuana,” said Murphy. “His experience, his knowledge of the program and his passion in his current role, it was very clear to us that he was the right leader for the program.”

Collins is a certified allied health professional and worked as an executive in the private sector for many years. Before joining the Health Department, he served as chief operating officer for Triad Isotopes Inc., in Orlando, Florida. He will be involved in the drafting of policy and oversee the implementation of entire medical marijuana program in the state, which is expected to be complete by early 2018.

“I am excited and eager to get to work on this medically-focused program that will help Pennsylvanians suffering from one of the 17 serious medical conditions outlined in Act 16”, said Collins.

 Among other things, the program’s roll out will include production and distribution of marijuana--licensing as many as 25 grower-processor operations and 150 dispensary locations across the state. Eligible Pennsylvania adults will have ready access to the medicinal marijuana products inside state after implementation of the program.

Notably, the medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on April 17, 2016.

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