Could take 2 years to start Pa. medical marijuana program

- Pennsylvania's secretary of health says she expects that it'll take up to two years to write regulations and make medical marijuana available through retailers to eligible patients.

Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy said Wednesday that her agency has started working on temporary regulations and fielding calls from people interested in becoming growers or processors.

The first temporary regulation will be for growers or processors, so those entities can begin to produce products.

Then, the department intends to issue the temporary regulations for dispensaries, physicians, patients and caregivers, and laboratories in that order. They will explain the medical marijuana program’s operation.

Also, the Department of Health is reviewing the 123 applications it received for the newly created Medical Marijuana Program Director position. The new director is expected to start by mid-July.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation in April creating the program. It’ll offer medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under a physician’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition.

The bill sets standards for tracking plants, certifying physicians and licensing growers, dispensaries and physicians. Marijuana products could be sold in pill, oil, vapor, ointment or liquid form.

Murphy says her agency expects to produce regulations in July to guide parents on how to bring medical marijuana bought legally from another state into Pennsylvania to administer to a child with a qualifying condition.

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