State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

State releasing names of potential marijuana sellers

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Apr 27, 2017 4:58 AM
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In this Tuesday, March 28, 2017 photo, Meagan Holt holds a vial of cannabis oil she uses to comforts her daughter Maddie. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Harrisburg) -- The Department of Health has revealed a few new details on the lengthy rollout of its medical marijuana program.

The names of dozens of potential dispensaries have been released, though officials won't say where exactly they'll be located.

The deadline to apply for licenses to grow or sell marijuana was March 20th. Health Secretary Karen Murphy said the department received over 500, and has so far reviewed 258.

The list of processed applicants is available online, and includes corporate names like "Holistic Pharma" and "Keystone Medicinals," as well as which of six state regions they're located in.

Asked whether the DOH plans to release addresses where these growers and dispensers could set up shop, Murphy said no--not until they decide which 12 growers and 81 dispensers to license.

"At this point we believe that the information we have provided is adequate, and it would be premature for us to state where a permittee was actually going to operate their business," she said.

John Collins, who's in charge of the marijuana program, also said the department decided releasing addresses wouldn't be the best use of its time.

"Creating such a report would be time consuming, and would take away from the necessary efforts that we have underway to get medical marijuana to patients in as short a time as possible," he said.

That's a different approach from a decade ago, when the officials released addresses during the application period for the commonwealth's then-brand-new casino industry.

Murphy said people should check with municipal officials if they want to know whether a dispensary might set up shop in their town.

She said the permitting process is still on-track, and is set to be completed by its end-of-June deadline.

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