The Pennsylvania Department of Health has so far opened 258 of more than 500 medical marijuana permit applications it received from interested grower/processor and dispensary operators.
Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy explained in a news conference Wednesday that the state has received more than 500 “boxes, envelopes and other packages containing applications,” but has not yet had time to open and process each one. Murphy said the packages frequently contain more than one application so an exact count on total applications was not available. Once opened, each is logged by state region and whether it is for a grower/processor or dispensary license. State medical marijuana director John Collins said he expects the remaining applications to be logged and processed over the next four to six weeks. Collins and Murphy said they expect permits to be awarded at the end of June.
The state plans to release 12 grower-processor license, two each per the state’s six health regions. Additionally, 27 dispensary permits will be granted with each operator able to run three locations.
The state released a file of the geographic region and name of each applicant it has processed so far.
“Once permits are awarded we will release details about the proposals including those that were not granted,” Murphy explained when questioned on when the public would learn the identities and locations of applications. Collins and Murphy said that once permits are awarded
To date, the state has Department has approved 231 applications for the Safe Harbor program in which parents, guardians can dispense marijuana products to their children without fear of prosecution.
The medical marijuana program was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf in April 2016, and is expected to be implemented by 2018. It will allow medical marijuana for patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under a physician’s care for the treatment of one of 17 serious medical conditions as defined by Act 16.