Pennsylvania issues permits to 12 medical marijuana growers

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Two companies have received permits to grow and process marijuana in Southwest Pennsylvania, the state Department of Health announced Tuesday. Standard Farms along with Pennsylvania Medical Solutions LLC in Scranton were the recipients in the Northeast Region encompassing Luzerne, Lackawanna, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, Pike, Wayne, Wyoming and Susquehanna counties. Ham sees his role as educating people.

A total of 177 applications for growers/processors were submitted across the commonwealth. Collins declined to specify when next year the state plans to have medical marijuana available for patients.

The 12 growers will have six months to meet standards that demonstrate they are operational, after which the state will give them permission to begin growing.

But the Department of Health is relying on an emergency rulemaking process authorized under the bill approved this month.

"Today, to ensure compliance with our constitutional duties, the department published proposed rules for the implementation of Amendment 2, which was approved by 71 percent of Florida voters in 2016", Department of Health spokeswoman Mara Gambineri said in an email Friday.

Of the 26 states which have legalized marijuana in some form or another, only Pennsylvania did not require applicants for the permits to be residents of the state. "I'm happy, excited." He said he believed Holistic Farms stood a good chance for success.

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The electronic tracking system for seeds and products will be up and running by December and Collins said Pennsylvania is on-schedule to be delivering medical marijuana products by 2018.

In addition to chronic pain, medical marijuana will be available to people with a variety of conditions, including cancer; HIV/AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); Parkinson's disease; epilepsy; inflammatory bowel disease; Huntington's disease; Crohn's disease; post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); intractable seizures; and glaucoma.

The announcement this afternoon is a landmark in developing Pennsylvania's program.

The state's medical marijuana law was enacted past year. She got a Safe Harbor letter, but she's really looking forward to being able to get her son medical marijuana from a Pennsylvania dispensary.

Collins said additional information about the grower-processors, including the names of the principal owners, is expected to be released in July. Collins said DOH hasn't determined a timeline for phase two of the program's rollout.