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First Phase of Medical Marijuana Program Announced, Says Helm
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Department of Health has started working on temporary regulations in order to implement the state’s new medical marijuana program, said Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin/Lebanon). In addition, the department will be seeking input from the public, stakeholders and partners throughout the implementation process.

The first temporary regulation will be for growers-processors who would then be able to begin producing products. A survey is available on the department’s website,, to allow for input on the development of this particular regulation.

According to Department of Health Secretary Karen Murphy, the department has received about 100 inquiries to date from prospective growers and processors. Applications for the 25 permits to be granted under the new law are expected to be available by the end of the year.

“State and federal background checks are required as part of the application process for a grower-processor permit,” said Helm. “In addition, the interested party must pay a nonrefundable application fee of $10,000, a refundable permit fee of $200,000 and submit proof of $2 million in capital, including a $500,000 bank deposit.”

The new law calls for the establishment of 50 medical marijuana dispensaries that will undergo the same financial and criminal checks. Dispensaries would be required to pay a $5,000 nonrefundable application fee and a $30,000 permit fee.

The department intends to issue the remainder of the temporary regulations for dispensaries, physicians, patients and caregivers, and laboratories in phases. They will explain the program’s operation, including how applications will be submitted, and will be in place for two years from the date they are published. The department will seek input via surveys on its website throughout the temporary regulations process.

The medical marijuana program became law in April and its implementation is expected to take up to two years to complete. The program will offer medical marijuana to patients under a physician’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by the new law.

Representative Sue Helm
104th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Andy Briggs
717.260.6474 /
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