First Year of Medical Marijuana Helps 83,000 Pennsylvanians
February 15, 2019
Harrisburg, PA – The Wolf Administration today announced that in its first year the state’s medical marijuana program has helped 83,000 Pennsylvanians access this vital medication, which was dispensed nearly 600,000 times at approved dispensaries across the state.
“The first year that the state’s medical marijuana program has been operational tells us that this program is working to help Pennsylvanians in need of this medication,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “Patients are realizing the benefits and there has been steady, positive progress that I am pleased to report.”
In addition to patients, nearly 1,000 physicians are now approved to certify patients to participant in the program. More than 1,460 physicians have registered to be certified.
“Our goal for the next year and beyond is to increase the number of grower/processors and dispensaries operating, to register even more physicians and to continue the growth of our scientific, medically based program,” Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said.
The medical marijuana program has permitted 25 grower/processors and 50 dispensaries, the maximum allowed under the law. All Phase I grower/processors are operational, and 45 dispensary locations are operational and dispensing product.
More than 116,000 patients in Pennsylvania have registered to participate in the medical marijuana program. The approximately 83,000 who have purchased medical marijuana at a dispensary already have their identification cards.
The medical marijuana program was signed into law by Gov. Wolf on April 17, 2016. Since that time, the department has:
- Completed temporary regulations to enact the program;
- Convened the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board;
- Approved six training providers for physician continuing education;
- Approved four laboratories to test medication before it is delivered to patients;
- Registered more than 116,000 patients and issued more than 83,000 identification cards;
- Validated nearly 600,000 dispensing events;
- Issued 25 grower/processors permits, 12 of which are operational;
- Issued 50 dispensary permits and approved 45 locations to begin operations; and
- Certified eight medical schools as Academic Clinical Research Centers.
The program offers medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under an approved practitioner’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by the Medical Marijuana Law.
Medical marijuana grossed more than $132 million in total sales one year after the official start of product being sold. The commonwealth collected more than $2 million in tax revenue to date from grower/processors.