The Pennsylvania Department of Health has approved the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary authorized to begin serving patients.
GuadCo LLC’s dispensary, Keystone Canna Remedies in Bethlehem, Northampton County, has received final approval to begin serving patients as soon as medical marijuana is available from approved growers.
“This is tremendous news for patients and the people who care for them,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “We are one step closer to providing medical marijuana to patients with serious medical conditions who desperately need this medication. Once the growing process is completed and the dispensary receives medication, patients with medical marijuana identification cards will be able to purchase medication at Keystone Canna Remedies.”
Keystone Canna Remedies will be able to sell medical marijuana to Pennsylvanians with medical marijuana identification cards once grower/processors begin distribution, sometime in the next four months.
To date, the Department of Health has approved nine 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; Prime Wellness, LLC, Berks County; PurePenn LLC, Allegheny County; Standard Farms, Luzerne County; and Terrapin Investment Fund 1, Clinton County.
In order to become operational, the dispensaries and 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.
“Our team is working to make sure that all of the remaining grower/processors are ready to operate safely and according to the law,” Acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said. “We anticipate more dispensaries to be able to open their doors in the coming weeks. Our medical marijuana program will be ready for full operation within the 18 to 24-month time-frame Governor Wolf set out when he signed the legislation into law.”
Physicians continue to register to participate in the program. To date, 573 have registered and of those, nearly 250 have completed the training to become certified practitioners.
“Physicians play a critical role in this medically focused program,” Gov. Wolf 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 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 340 applications;
– Completed temporary regulations for growers/processors, dispensaries, physicians, patients and laboratories, all which have been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin;
– Issued permits to grower/processors and dispensaries;
– Developed the Medical Marijuana Physician Workgroup;
– Convened the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board;
– Approved five training providers for physician continuing-education;
– Approved two laboratories to test medication before it is delivered to patients;
– Launched registries for patients and caregivers, as well as physicians; and
– Continued to work with permittees to ensure they will be operational.
The Medical Marijuana Program became effective on May 17, 2016, and is expected to be fully implemented sometime in 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.