Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health today announced that 10,135 patients have registered to participate in the medical marijuana program, with 1,188 certified by a physician to participate.
“Patients have started to receive their medical marijuana identification cards, bringing us one step closer to getting medication to patients in the next four months,” Governor Wolf said. “Our grower/processors are well underway, and our dispensaries are approaching the point where they will be ready to open their doors. Patients who are desperately waiting for this medication will soon find relief.”
To date, the Department of Health has approved eight grower/processors to begin operations:
Cresco Yeltrah, Jefferson County;
Franklin Labs, Berks County;
GTI Pennsylvania, Montour County;
Ilera Healthcare, Fulton County;
Pennsylvania Medical Solutions, Lackawanna County;
PurePenn LLC, Allegheny County;
Standard Farms, Luzerne County; and
Terrapin Investment Fund, Clinton County.
In order to become operational, the grower/processors underwent several inspections from the Department of Health. The facilities also are fully integrated with the seed-to-sale tracking system. The grower/processors will now be able to begin accepting seeds and clones to grow medical marijuana.
“We have four grower/processors in the final stages of their inspection process,” Acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We have been working with them to make sure they are meeting all of the standards set out by the regulations and their facilities are safe and secure. At this time, we do not foresee any issues with the remaining facilities that would prevent them from becoming operational.”
Physicians continue to register to participate in the program. To date, 550 have registered and of those, nearly 250 have completed the training to become certified practitioners. A fifth continuing education provider, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, has been approved.
“Physicians play a critical role in this medically-focused program,” Dr. Levine said. “The response has been encouraging from the medical community as more doctors are becoming educated on how medical marijuana can help their patients.”
The Medical Marijuana Program was signed into law by Governor Tom 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 300 applications;
- Completed temporary regulations for growers/processors, dispensaries, physicians and laboratories, all which have been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin;
- Issued permits to grower/processors and dispensaries;
- Developed the Medical Marijuana Physician Workgroup;
- Approved four training providers for physician continuing education;
- Approved two laboratories to test medication before it is delivered to patients;
- Launched the Patient and Caregiver Registry; and
- Continued to work with permittees to ensure they will be operational within six months.
The Medical Marijuana Program became effective on May 17, 2016, and is expected to be fully implemented by 2018. The program will offer 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.