One Year After PA Legalized Medical Marijuana, Much Work Remains

Apr 18, 2017

HARRISBURG (WSKG) - It's now been a year since medical marijuana was legalized in Pennsylvania. The drug's still not available for prescription in the commonwealth, but Governor Tom Wolf says the process is right on-track, with permits set to be allocated soon and the rollout expected to be totally complete by the middle of next year.  

The governor and medical marijuana advocates celebrate the one-year anniversary of the legalization.
Credit Katie Meyer

At a Capitol event celebrating the legalization anniversary, Wolf touted the speed with which the rollout is happening--remarking, offhand, that some people have even complained it was too fast.

"Some people were saying, maybe the application process, we ought to give it a couple extra weeks, but that's the only thing," Wolf said. "I have not heard any complaints saying we're not going fast enough."

So far the fledgling program's been assigned a director, and the DOH has issued and accepted applications for medical marijuana growers, processors, and dispensers.

Over the next few months, the department will start allocating those permits.

"The first round--I think there will be two rounds--first round should be all awarded by sometime in June," Wolf said.

In that first round, the state has said it'll accept applications from 12 grower/processors and 27 dispensers. Those will be broken up by region.

In the meantime, the Department of Health is approving applications for the Safe Harbor program, which allows parents to legally obtain medical marijuana from out-of-state to treat their children. 224 have been accepted so far.