Dept of Health update on Medical Marijuana Program in Pennsylvania

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Medical marijuana prescription bottle and cannabis buds. (Charlotte's Web Strain)

Harrisburg, PA – Department of Health Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy today announced temporary regulations for marijuana growers and processors under Act 16 are slated to be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on October 29, and asked for public comment on dispensary regulations at her regular briefing of the Medical Marijuana Program.

“One of our biggest accomplishments to date is the development of temporary regulations for marijuana growers and processers,” Secretary Murphy said. “We received nearly 1,000 comments from members of the community, the industry and our legislative partners.”

The regulations outline the financial, legal and operational requirements needed by an individual to be considered for a grower/processor permit, as well as where the facilities can be located.

They also address:

• An electronic tracking system;
• Maintenance of equipment;
• Sanitation and safety;
• Disposal of marijuana and medical marijuana;
• Tax reporting;
• Pesticides;
• Recall of medical marijuana or marijuana; and
• Insurance requirements.

Secretary Murphy also announced that temporary regulations for dispensaries will be published on the medical marijuana portion of DOH’s website, The department is once again looking for input from the community, industry and legislators. A public feedback period will be open until Nov. 4.

“I am encouraging the public – and specifically the dispensary community – to review the temporary regulations and provide us with their feedback,” Secretary Murphy said. “The final temporary regulations for dispensaries will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin by the end of the year.”

The medical marijuana program was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on April 17, 2016. Since that time, the department has:

• Completed the Safe Harbor temporary guidelines and Safe Harbor Letter application process, as well as approved 103 applications;
• Released public surveys to aid in the development of temporary regulations for growers/processors and dispensaries/laboratories;
• Developed the Medical Marijuana Physician Workgroup, which will meet again on November 28; and
• Released a Request for Information for Electronic Tracking IT solutions for the tracking of medical marijuana.

The medical marijuana program became effective one month later on May 17. The implementation of the program is expected to take between 18 and 24 months and will offer medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under a physician’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by Act 16.

Questions about the medical marijuana program can be emailed to Information is also available on the Department of Health website at

SOURCE: PA Department of Health

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