HARRISBURG – The Wolf Administration has announced that permit applications are available online and for submission for grower/processors, dispensaries and academic clinical research centers (ACRCs) as part of the second phase of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program.
“Because of the Department of Health’s careful tracking of the number of patients in need of and receiving identification cards for medical marijuana, we now know that it’s the right time to expand the number of growers/processors and dispensaries,” Gov. Tom Wolf said.
“We are also introducing the ability to apply to conduct medical marijuana research at academic institutions, which can enhance efforts to determine how this medication can be best used to safely and effectively treat various diseases.”
Phase two of the program will allow for up to 13 new grower/processor permits and up to 23 new primary dispensary permits.
Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program will be increased to 25 grower/processors permittees and 50 dispensary permittees, the maximum numbers allowed by the medical marijuana law.
“The department continues to work to ensure that Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program is second-to-none in providing this form of treatment to patients with serious medical conditions,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said.
“This next phase of the program will expand the reach of medical marijuana to make it more convenient for patients who need this medication.
“By approving ACRCs, Pennsylvania will be the first state in the nation to conduct medical marijuana research to benefit patients in need.”
In addition, the 14th dispensary, Columbia Care Pennsylvania LLC, in Scranton, Lackawanna County, has passed all Department of Health inspections and can begin operations. Patients will be able to purchase medical marijuana at this location once it is available.
Nearly 28,000 patients have registered to participate in the medical marijuana program, with nearly 11,000 certified by a physician and over 10,000 who have received their identification cards. Dispensaries have recorded more than 10,500 patient purchases of medical marijuana.
Physicians continue to register to participate in the program. To date, over 900 have registered and of those, 511 have competed the training to become certified practitioners.
The Medical Marijuana Program was signed into law by Wolf on April 17, 2016. Since that time, the department has:
- Completed the Safe Harbor temporary guidelines and Safe Harbor Letter application process, as well as approved more than 340 applications;
- Completed temporary regulations for growers/processors, dispensaries, physicians, patients, laboratories, and academic clinical research centers and clinical registrants, all of which have been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin;
- Issued permits to grower/processors and dispensaries;
- Developed the Medical Marijuana Physician Workgroup;
- Convened the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board;
- Approved five training providers for physician continuing-education;
- Approved four laboratories to test medication before it is delivered to patients;
- Launched registries for patients and caregivers, as well as physicians;
- Registered nearly 28,000 patients for the program;
- Approved 14 dispensaries and 12 grower/processers to begin operations; and
- Continue to work with permittees to ensure they will become operational.
The Medical Marijuana Program offers medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under a practitioner’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by the Medical Marijuana Law.