Pennsylvania to issue Medical Marijuana growing, Dispensary permits

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on December 23, 2016.

Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Karen Murphy on Wednesday announced that applications for permits to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana will become available at the Department of Health's website, on January 17, 2017. The state will begin accepting the completed applications in a 30-day window from February 20 through March 20, 2017, she said.

In the first phase of the marijuana program, Murphy said, there will be up to 12 permits issued for grower/processors across Pennsylvania’s six medical marijuana regions, and up to 27 permits issued for dispensaries. Those are the ones expected to be up and running by mid-2018, she said.

The southwest district, which includes Allegheny, Butler and Westmoreland counties, will be allowed up to 15 dispensary locations in the first phase, Murphy said.

The state’s Office of Medical Marijuana now has eight employees, including a liaison who has already begun meeting with patients. About 5,000 people have provided public comments on the program, most commonly listing pain and post-traumatic stress as their qualifying medical conditions, officials said.

The marijuana program will offer medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under a physician’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by Act 16.

Pennsylvania's law allows medical marijuana to be used to treat 17 conditions including cancer, autism, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell anemia,    multiple Sclerosis,   post-traumatic stress disorder, severe chronic pain etc. Medical marijuana will be sold in the form of pills, ointment and oil, but prohibited to smoke.

On April 17, Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation that legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. The state has also approved 134 “safe harbor” patient applications.

As many as 28 states and the District of Columbia have now medical marijuana programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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