Pennsylvania Medical Solutions LLC, a company based in Minnesota, was awarded a permit to turn a warehouse into a medical marijuana growing and processing site.
"We live in a world of seizures, and epilepsy, and medications that don't always work", Cara Salemme said at the Capitol on Tuesday.
Pennsylvania Department of Health officials are notifying 12 applicants they've been awarded permits to grow and process medical marijuana, a landmark in developing the state's program.
"These are the creme of the crop, the folks who won".
According to that press release, John Collins, director of the Pennsylvania Office of Medical Marijuana, received 457 applications in total, with 177 prospective grower/processors and 280 for dispensaries.
In the populous Southeast region of Pennsylvania, grower/processor permits were awarded to Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania, LLC, and Franklin Labs, LLC. Ilera Healthcare in Waterfall and Grassroots Cannabis in Chambersburg. "We don't want the program stalled". They also said the product they anticipate growing would be for medical uses.
The Department of Health will spend the next six months helping the growers become operational.
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"The next step for the permit holders will be to ramp up their operations so they can prepare to grow medical marijuana", Collins said.
"I'm going to stand at the counter and let an employee know that I'm there to pick up medicine for my son, finally", Salemme said.
Collins said the program will announce its 27 picks for distributors by the end of the month. All of the growers are required to grow indoors, not in a greenhouse or on an outdoor farm.
A timeline released by the Department of Health shows that patients should be able to start registering with the Department of Health in September and that medical marijuana cards for patients will be issued, beginning in November.
But even with a Safe Harbor letter, it's not easy to get access to the medical marijuana consistently enough to rely on it for treatment, said Cara Salemme, administrator for the Campaign for Compassion, the group of parents who helped lead the lobbying effort to get medical marijuana legalized in Pennsylvania. Rep. Matt Baker is chairman of the health committee. "Many licensee recipients are affiliated with existing national marijuana-related businesses with excellent track records for operating in a transparent, compliant and profitable manner".
Marijuana should not bypass the USA process for drug approvals for medical use.