BLOG: Department of Health Announces First Step in Roll-out of Medical Marijuana Temporary Regulations, Seeks Public Input (Round-up)

By: Eryn Spangler, Press Assistant

June 02, 2016

Yesterday, Department of Health Secretary Karen Murphy announced the first phase of temporary regulations for medical marijuana implementation in Pennsylvania. The first temporary regulations will be for growers and processors so those entities can begin the production of products. The department plans to issue the remaining temporary regulations for dispensaries, physicians, patients and caregivers, and laboratories by the end of the calendar year.

Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 3, which established the medical marijuana program, on April 17, 2016 and the law became effective on May 17, 2016.

“Our vision is to have a high quality, efficient, and compliant medical marijuana program for Pennsylvania residents with serious medical conditions as defined by Act 16,” said Secretary Murphy. “We are also committed to being transparent and communicating effectively throughout the process with the public, stakeholders, and our partners, and are very interested in their feedback as we develop temporary regulations.”

Additional information regarding the medical marijuana program is available on the Department of Health website at

Take a look at the additional coverage below:
  • Philly Voice: Pa. wants input on regulating medical marijuana growers

    Department of Health Secretary Karen Murphy said the first thing being taken care of is creating temporary regulations for growers and processors. The goal is to get those operations off the ground soon so they can start producing the product, and the department is conducting an online survey for input on how to best craft the regulations. Other necessary temporary regulations, like those for dispensaries, doctors and patients, are supposed to be completed by the end of 2016.

  • Morning Call: Pa’s medical marijuana law taking shape

    [Secretary] Murphy said, the state is developing temporary guidelines for how growers and processors can set up shop after paying required fees and passing necessary criminal and financial background checks. Her agency will decide where the growers and processors can operate. Under the law, the agency can issue permits for up to 25 grower-processors.

  • York Dispatch: Pa. officials working to get temporary regs in place for medical marijuana

    Dr. Karen Murphy, secretary of health in Pennsylvania, said the department hopes to have a director in place and temporary regulations for medical marijuana up and running by July. However, the first set of regulations will benefit only minors and those looking to grow and process, Murphy said. “Patients will register with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and have an ID card issued to them,” Murphy said at a conference Wednesday. “We have also started to create temporary regulations for growers and processors so we have product in the commonwealth. We’re hoping to have the rest of the temporary regulations in place by the end of the year.”

  • Lancaster Online: 4 things to know about developing medical marijuana regulations in Pennsylvania

    The Pennsylvania Department of Health today announced its plans for developing the regulations that will govern medical marijuana here. The medical marijuana program was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf in April, but implementation is expected to take between 18 and 24 months.

  • WITF: State begins setting up medical marijuana system

    The next step will be for the department to start working on regulations for growers and processors, before moving on to dispensaries, physicians, patients and caregivers. The Health Department already has a group of employees doing the work, and [Secretary] Murphy says more will be hired. [Secretary Murphy] details: “The additional staff members will include an epidemiologist, it will include public health specialists, researchers, and that will be coming. Our main focus is to get these temporary regulations so we can start the program.”

  • Reading Eagle: Medical marijuana will go to ailing children first, state health official says

    “The reality is it’s a very complex program in terms of implementation and we want to make sure we’re doing it right,” [Secretary] Murphy said during the first of what she said would be monthly press briefings about medical cannabis. State lawmakers and Gov. Tom Wolf legalized medical cannabis in April. Now, the state Health Department is tasked with drafting rules about how the medicine will be grown, processed and distributed to patients. Murphy said more temporary rules will be issued by the end of the year to allow growers and dispensaries to get started and to begin medical research. Permanent regulations will replace them after two years.

  • TribLive: Young patients in Pennsylvania could have access to medical marijuana by July

    [Secretary]Murphy said she hopes to hire a Medical Marijuana Program director who has a background in state government and public health. She addressed questions concerning the level of involvement doctors will have. “We’re going to work diligently with the medical community,” [Secretary] Murphy said. “Physicians are critically important to the success of this program. We’re going to, as early as this summer, convene with a group of physicians that are representative throughout the commonwealth.”

  • PennLive: Child patients will have access to medical marijuana this summer

    Murphy said her department began working on its implementation the day after Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill into law. The larger program is expected to come online between 18 and 24 months after substantial input from lawmakers, patients, producers and medical professionals, she said. “We’re building a medical program here,” she said, “and we’re very focused on engaging all of those stakeholders.”


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