Pubdate: Thu, 29 Jun 2017
Source: Philadelphia Daily News (PA)
Copyright: 2017 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.
Author: Sam Wood


Medical marijuana permits leave losers fuming in Pa.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today announced the names and
locations of companies that will be permitted to sell medical
marijuana in the state.

The reveal came in a news release issued Thursday at 1:15 p.m..

Each of the 27 winners have the right to operate three storefronts.
Though there were 81 dispensaries allowed by law, many applicants
chose not to ask for additional outlets. As it stands, only 52 will
open sometime next year.

"They'll have the ability to put in for their second or third
locations after their first is up and running," said health department
spokeswoman April Hutcheson.

All applicants had been required to ante up a $5,000 fee just to
apply. In addition, the companies had to post a $30,000 deposit --
refundable only to the losers -- per desired dispensary. Each winner's
storefronts are required to be in different counties.

Pennsylvania's Department of Health on Thursday awarded 27 companies
licenses to open medical-marijuana dispensaries. The companies can
operate three storefronts, and 52 are scheduled to open sometime next
year. Four dispensaries were awarded licenses in Philadelphia, and 20
in the Southeastern region, one of the six medical-marijuana regions
established by the state.

In Southeastern Pennsylvania, dispensaries are slated for Abington,
Bensalem, Devon, Elkins Park, Fort Washington, Phoenixville, Plymouth
Meeting, Philadelphia (4). Sellersville, Upper Darby, and Yeadon.

Last week, the state announced the winners of 12 permits to grow legal
cannabis in the state and process it into medicine. Though industry
experts have lauded the health department's efforts as cautious and
fair, many losing applicants have criticized the process for being
opaque and biased. They have until Friday to make an appeal. Several
have threatened lawsuits. Litigation filed by sore losers in Maryland
and Florida has stalled the roll-out of the medical marijuana program
in those states for years.

The health department on Wednesday said it remained on track to
provide cannabis oil to patients in 2018.

The dispensaries will be forbidden to sell whole plant, flower, or
edible products.

The Office of Medical Marijuana received 457 applications: 177 for
growers and processors; and 280 for dispensaries.
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