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Opportunity - Pennsylvania to Accept Additional Medical Marijuana Applicants

April 6, 2018

In response to patient demand, Pennsylvania announced it is accepting additional medical marijuana applications for both growers/processors and dispensaries. Pennsylvania law allows for a maximum of 25 growers/processors and 50 dispensaries. Governor Wolf’s office announced on April 5, 2018 it will issue permits for up to 13 new grower/processors and up to 23 dispensaries.

In addition to limiting the total number of growers/processors and dispensaries, there are other limitations which may provide opportunity to individuals interested in obtaining a medical marijuana permit in Pennsylvania. Under Pennsylvania law, no more than 5 dispensary permits can be issued to any one person and no more than 1 grower/processor permit can be issued to any one person.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health established 6 geographical regions. Each region has a maximum authorized number grower/processor and dispensary permits. Currently, each region has 2 grower/processor permits allotted. Phase 2 authorizes each region to have up to 2 additional permits. The 13th permit, under the expansion, will be awarded to the highest scoring applicant. In order to submit a grower/processor application, applicants will pay a nonrefundable $10,000 application fee, a $200,000 refundable permit fee, and demonstrate $2,000,000 in liquid capital - $500,000 of which must be already on deposit. Applicants for a dispensary license must pay a $5,000 application fee, a $30,000 refundable permit fee, and demonstrate $150,000 in liquid capital.

Commonwealth executives have suggested nearly 28,000 patients have registered to participate in the program.[1] Recently, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center announced it would not preclude its doctors from participating in Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program. With at least tacit support from establishment health care providers, demand for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is expected to grow.

For more information on this topic, contact a member of Benesch’s Regulated Industries Practice Group.

Thomas B. Kern at or 614.223.9369

Brian C. DePew at or 614.223.9337.