PA releases temporary regulations on medical marijuana dispensaries

Pennsylvania’s Department of Health today released updated temporary regulations on medical marijuana dispensaries. It seeks feedback from the public and medical community on the regulations through Nov. 4 and will publish a final version of the dispensary regulations by the end of the year.

The 25-page document of temporary regulations detail the qualifications and requirements that a permitted medical marijuana dispensary must maintain and follow regarding dispensing medical marijuana to patient or caregiver and limitations, required license professionals at the dispensary, items and services provided, labels and safety inserts, plans for operation, security and surveillance, storage requirements and the transportation of medical marijuana.

As previously announced, potential dispensary owners must pass a federal and state criminal background check; provide a diversity plan; complete a two-hour training course; submit a non-refundable $5,000 fee and a permit fee of $30,000 that is refundable if a permit isn’t granted. The applicant must also prove they have $150,000 in start-up capital.

In a Tuesday morning press conference, Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Karen Murphy said the state had approved 103 Safe Harbor applications from parents, legal guardians or caregivers who can now give marijuana to their children without fear of penalty in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Updated temporary regulations for growers and processors are slated to be published Oct. 29.

Those regulations outline financial, legal and operational requirements needed by individuals to be considered for a grower/processor permit as well as where the facilities will be located. The temporary regulations also address an electronic tracking system, maintenance of equipment, sanitation and safety, disposal of marijuana and medical marijuana, tax reporting, pesticides and insurance requirements.

Prospective growers/processors must also pass a federal and state criminal background check; provide a diversity plan; complete a two-hour training course; submit a non-refundable $10,000 fee and a permit fee of $200,000 which is refundable if the permit application isn’t granted. The applicant must also prove they have $2 million ($500,000 of which must be on deposit in a financial institution).

This is all in accordance with Pennsylvania’s April passage of its Medical Marijuana Act, aka Act 16.

The 17 ailments approved by Act 16 for which a patient can be recommended marijuana are:  ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Autism, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Damage to Spinal Cord Nervous Tissue, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Huntington’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Intractable seizures, Multiple Sclerosis, Neuropathies, Parkinson’s Disease, PTSD, chronic or intractable pain and Sickle Cell Anemia.

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