Green Light for Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania

The medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania is spreading into its second phase of its medical marijuana program. This comes in the wake of the first phase still trying to get a solid send off.

The Department of Health made the announcement that a new series of applications will be launched for more dispensaries, growers, cultivation’s and processors in April.

A total of 13 permits will be granted. These 13 permits will cover the cultivators and a total of 23 will be available for medical marijuana distributors, known as dispensaries.

Of those 23 dispensaries, at least 9 of those could be granted to dispensaries wishing to operate within the Philadelphia area.

The second phase that opens up in April will have permits available for those accredited hospitals and medical schools that wish to pursue research in the medical marijuana field.

The Thomas Jefferson University in California holds intention to become an “academic clinical research centre”. This falls under the Chapter 20 within the medical marijuana law. In 2016 the University received a donation of $3 million from two Australians. These two Australians were seeking to help their grandchild who is suffering from a form of a rare type of epilepsy.

This money went towards the creation of the Jefferson’s Lambert Centre for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp. This centre is focused on researching cannabis and being a resource centre for healthcare professionals and law practitioners that need quality based cannabis information.

Interestingly enough Pennsylvania is the spearhead of cannabis research, being the first state to have brought in a research feature within the legal cannabis program. While there other states that have explored the option of introducing such research programs, nothing has been set in the law as yet.

Dr Charlse Pollack, the director of the Lambert research centre has said that this could place Pennsylvania at the head of this “controversial and challenging area”. Three other University’s, Penn Medicine, the University of Sciences and Drexel University are all interested in pursuing the clinical research of marijuana.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has also revealed that it intends to join the clinical research of cannabis.

Researching marijuana and its clinical use is of utmost importance in the expanding marijuana industry. Determining the safety and efficiency of marijuana is more important now more than ever.

The Penn Depart. Of Health has said that there is no limit to the number of applicants allowed. Even with the slow start to the first phase of the marijuana program, the program is still going at full speed ahead. Dispensaries are finding it challenging to keep up with the legalities of the changing industry. At the moment there are only two dispensaries that are fully operational and legal within the Philadelphia area. None of these two are within the city boundaries.

The first dispensary, Keystone Canna Remedies, is in the Montgomery County while the second, TerraVida Holistic Centre, is in Bucks County.

These two dispensaries are not enough to supply the current demand. Shortly after opening their doors the dispensaries nearly ran out of stock.

The owner of TerraVida, Chris Visco, has said that on average a total of forty people come into the store on a daily basis. Chris has said that to date almost 2000 patients have been seen to at the dispensary.

Now that the number of cultivators will be increasing, limited stock shouldn’t be a problem anymore. It is reported that in February, when the program was first launched, there was only one supplier for the whole state, Cresco Yeltrah.

And there is good news as well for the consumers and patients; due to the increased availability of products it is possible that the price of the products could be affected as well. While the price of the medicinal marijuana products was high during the initial phase of the program, the director of the Office of Medical Marijuana, John Collins, has said that the price of medical marijuana will “remain market driven” and no adjustments are in the pipelines.

In the meantime, patients and interested consumers should contact their dispensaries beforehand to find out about pricing and to make an informed decision before venturing out to the dispensary.