Pennsylvania To Start Selling Medical Marijuana This Week
The state of Pennsylvania will finally be opening it's first medical marijuana facility this week. Governor Tom Wolfe announced on Tuesday that the state will start medical marijuana sales this week and that cannabis will be available for purchase as of Thursday.
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The announcement has been long anticipated. Governor Wolfe signed The Medical Marijuana Program back on April 17, 2016, and since then, the state has been making preparations for the program's rollout. Cannabis is set to be available for patients suffering from one or more of 17 conditions considered qualification for medical marijuana.
“Pennsylvanians have been waiting years for this moment,” Wolf said in a statement. “Medical marijuana is legal, safe and now available to Pennsylvanians suffering from 17 serious medical conditions.
In less than two years, we have developed a regulatory infrastructure, approved physicians as practitioners, certified patients to participate and launched a new industry to help thousands find relief from their debilitating symptoms.”
To date, more than 17,000 patients have registered for the medical marijuana program. 4,000 have since received their approval and 10 dispensaries as well as 10 growers have been approved for business.
Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program will remain decidedly limited. Patients will not be able to buy seeds (as growing does not fall under the program) nor will they be able to consume flower or edibles. Products that will be available include vaporizers, oil cartridges, tinctures, and lotions.
Although the official date for sales to begin is listed as February 15, most dispensaries will be open at least one day after this date. Cresco Yeltrah, the first facility approved by state officials, will, however, be open on Thursday.
There is a future for MMJ
The future of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania became hazy following Jeff Sessions' announcement earlier this year that he is rescinding the Cole Memo set forth under the Obama administration. This policy prohibited federal law enforcement agencies from interfering in legal marijuana affairs in states where it is legal. Sessions' move has settled a decent amount of confusion over the cannabis industry, with states ready to welcome medical marijuana hesitating.
Governor Wolfe has been a long time advocate for a medical program in Pennsylvania and does not seem phased by Sessions' recent move. Many have retaliated against the Attorney General by fast-forwarding legalization measures already in progress to assert their state's rights. Both Vermont and New Hampshire recently passed marijuana laws and various other states are examining their own laws.