Monday, 17 December, 2018

Medical Marijuana Is Legal In Arkansas, But You Can't Get It Anywhere

Brendan Kennedy Tilray chief Brendan Kennedy Tilray chief
Becky Salazar | 24 March, 2018, 16:41

Pennsylvania this spring is roughly doubling the number of permits available for medical marijuana grower/processors and dispensaries, plus opening the door to new research into the drug.

The number of growers and dispensers will further balloon with the launch of the nation's first state-sanctioned academic research program.

Unsuccessful first-round applicants still must pay full application fees for the second round - $10,000 for grower/processor permits and $5,000 for dispensary permits.

Although Christie signed the medical marijuana bill in 2013, it took about two years for the state to approve growing and distribution centers - there's only five operational in the entire state - and Trenton strictly limited what illnesses and conditions would allow people to qualify for the program to a dozen.

Medical marijuana, for now, can only be prescribed for certain debilitating conditions. As Pennsylvania's medical marijuana market matures, only those dispensaries attached to a clinical registrant grower/processor will be able to tailor their inventory and marketing to patients according to the results of the research.

"From what I've seen and heard, there seems to be a high interest in doing research around pain management and as a replacement for opioids", John Collins, director of the state marijuana program, said in a phone conference with reporters.

This second phase of licensing will max out the state's allotment of 25 grower/processor permits and 50 dispensary permits, as spelled out in the 2016 Medical Marijuana Act. Each dispensary can have three locations, meaning 150 could eventually be operating in the state.

Pennsylvania was the first state to include medical research partnership provisions in its medical marijuana program.

Participating medical schools and hospitals will require a partner to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana separate from current licensees in the program. That's because federal law outlaws marijuana in any form.

Applications for the new grower/processor and dispensary permits are due May 17. The project must begin within six months of approval and ACRCs may partner with only one clinical registrant-with no overlap allowed.

The application to be certified as an ACRC will be made available April 5 and due May 3.

Applicants who received grower/processor permits a year ago are not eligible for additional permits, but an individual dispensary company is eligible for a maximum five permits, or 15 separate storefronts. The nonrefundable dispensary application fee is $5,000, with the permit costing $30,000 for one year and a $5,000 renewal fee.

"Bringing more dispensaries and grower/processors allows for more options for patients", she said.

The health systems will construct research studies focusing on medicinal applications but will not actually handle the cannabis plant or any of its products.

As of Thursday, about 25,000 Pennsylvanians have began the process of obtained the state-issued care needed to buy medical marijuana, about 9,000 have received the needed certification from a doctor, about 7,000 have obtained a medical card, and about 6,700 have purchased medical marijuana. Almost 7,000 have gotten their medical marijuana identification cards and obtained products from dispensaries.

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