Pennsylvania’s First Medical Marijuana Patients Receive Medication


HARRISBURG, Pa. – Governor Tom Wolf showed his appreciation Thursday as Pennsylvania’s first medical marijuana patients received medication for the first time in the Commonwealth.

“Medical marijuana is now available in the state of Pennsylvania to those patients with a valid medical marijuana ID card,” Gov. Wolf said. “We reached this historic day through a lot of hard work by many dedicated people at the Pennsylvania Department of Health and its Office of Medical Marijuana, and through the support of advocacy groups, the General assembly, and especially Pennsylvanians – the parents, doctors, and patients – whose tireless efforts helped make today a reality.

“My thanks to staff and supporters, and to the more than 700 physicians who have either completed or are in the process of completing the necessary steps to certify patients.

“The nearly 3,000 patients with medical marijuana ID cards (with more than 17,000 registered to participate in the program) are now able to find some relief from their serious medical conditions and, for that, I am most grateful.”

According to pa.govthe state has several authorized medical marijuana dispensaries located across the state, including one in Butler that opened Thursday. Another in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh is scheduled to open Friday.

To date, the Department of Health has approved 10 grower/processors to begin operations:

– Cresco Yeltrah, Jefferson County;

– Franklin Labs, Berks County;

– GTI Pennsylvania, Montour County;

– Holistic Farms; Lawrence 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 and dispensaries 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, 652 have registered and of those, 326 have completed the training to become certified practitioners.

“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 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 three 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.

The 17 medical conditions approved for the medical marijuana program include:

• Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

• Autism

• Cancer

• Cohn’s Disease

• Damage to Nervous Tissue of Spinal Cord

• Epilepsy

• Glaucoma

• HIV

• Huntington’s Disease

• IBS

• Intractable Seizures

• Multiple Sclerosis

• Neuropathies

• Parkinson’s Disease

• PTSD

• Severe chronic or intractable pain

• Sickle Cell Anemia

Questions about the Medical Marijuana Program can be emailed to [email protected] Information is also available at www.medicalmarijuana.pa.gov.


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