The Pennsylvania Department of Health unveiled the names of 12 groups that won grower-processor permits for the state’s medical marijuana program, which is slated to debut early next year. They were selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants.
The winners have six months to get their operations off the ground.
They include Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania, LLC and Franklin Labs, LLC, both of which are located in Berks County. A growing and processing facility was not approved for Philadelphia County.
Council members Derek Green and Bobby Henon issued statements on "the failure" of Pennsylvania to issue grower-processor medical marijuana licenses to any Philadelphia-based applicant.
“Considering that medical marijuana is projected to be a multi-billion dollar industry in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia should not have been left out of this initial opportunity to develop jobs and grow local and diverse companies,” Green said.
Henon added that “grower-processor facilities provide family-sustaining manufacturing jobs."
"The decision of the Commonwealth not to authorize a single license opportunity in the City of Philadelphia demonstrates a serious lack of commitment by Harrisburg to provide opportunities to Philadelphia families and Philadelphia businesses," he said.
The health department also announced that 271 safe harbor applications have already been approved. This applies to the parents and guardians of minors who require medical marijuana to treat certain conditions, such as cancer and epilepsy.
“It’s hard to believe this day has finally arrived,” said State Sen. Daylin Leach, a Democrat who represents Montgomery County and co-sponsored the bill that put medical marijuana on the map in Pennsylvania. “This is a great day for many patients.”
A physician registry will go online in July with regulations for patients and caregivers published in September.
A complete list of dispensaries will be unveiled later this month. Twenty-seven permits will be issued.
“We were agnostic about the licenses,” Leach said speaking from the steps of state capitol in Harrisburg. “I had no say in who got the licenses.”
Among those denied a growing and processing permit is Snider Health, which includes relatives of late Flyers owner Ed Snider. The group also applied for two dispensary locations - one in Center City and another in Delaware County.
"We congratulate each of the applicants who were awarded permits in this round," the family said in a statement. "We are pleased that today’s announcement provides hope for the thousands of patients throughout Pennsylvania who urgently need access to medical marijuana."
Groups who were not awarded a permit are elligible to apply for an appeal.
“With today’s announcement, we remain on track to fulfill the Wolf Administration’s commitment to deliver medical marijuana to patients in 2018,” John Collins, director of the Office of Medical Marijuana, said.
“The applications from the entities receiving permits were objectively reviewed by an evaluation team made up of members from across commonwealth agencies. Any letters of recommendation or support for an applicant were not considered during the evaluation.”
Twelve permits were issued to the following groups:
Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania, LLC
Franklin Labs, LLC
Pennsylvania Medical Solutions, LLC
Standard Farms, LLC
Ilera Healthcare, LLC
AES Compassionate Care, LLC
Terrapin Investment Fund 1, LLC
GTI Pennsylvania, LLC
AGRiMED Industries of PA, LLC
Holistic Farms, LLC
Cresco Yeltrah, LLC