More than 10,000 patients have registered with Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program, Gov. Wolf announced Wednesday, with nearly 1,200 of those patients certified by a physician to participate. In a statement heavy on numbers, Wolf also said that eight medical marijuana growers have been approved to start cultivating their first crops.
Medical marijuana is expected to be available in early 2018 for patients suffering from 17 serious medical conditions. Though no dispensaries have opened yet, the state mailed out the first batch of registration cards to patients just before Christmas.
The growers — which will also process the plant into oils, pills, and tinctures — include Cresco Yeltrah of Jefferson Co.; Franklin Labs in Berks Co.; GTI Pennsylvania in Montour Co.; Ilera Healthcare in Fulton Co.; Pennsylvania Medical Solutions in Lackawanna Co.; PurePenn LLC in Allegheny Co.; Standard Farms in Luzerne County; and Terrapin Investment Fund in Clinton County. Additional growers should be up and running by mid-March.
"We have four grower/processors in the final stages of their inspection process," acting Health Secretary Rachel Levine said. "We have been working with them to make sure they are meeting all of the standards set out by the regulations and their facilities are safe and secure."
Southeastern Pennsylvania is not slated to host any grow operations. The Department of Health did not award growing permits for Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, or Montgomery Counties. That could change if the state decides to award another round of licenses.
The Department of Health said 10,135 patients have registered, 435 patients have received cards, and 250 doctors have been approved to write recommendations for cannabis products.