Medical marijuana permits leave losers fuming in Pa.

Pennsylvania’s decision last week to award a dozen permits to grow marijuana has ignited a firestorm of controversy, with many losers decrying a lack of transparency and threatening legal action that could delay getting medicine to patients for years.


The permits are thought to be extremely lucrative — about $40 million apiece — so there are bound to be sore losers, industry experts said. In Maryland and Florida, litigation filed by groups that were shut out has stalled those states’ programs for years.


Licensed marijuana growers in PA might have weed, but they still can't get a bank account

Pennsylvania handed out licenses to 12 companies to grow marijuana for medicinal uses last week, and is expected to license producers and dispensaries soon. However, it could be tough for those businesses to get bank accounts.

Although Pennsylvania has legalized medical marijuana, it's still illegal at the federal level. That means all of the proceeds from growing, producing or selling it are illegal as far as the federal government is concerned.

That leaves banks that accept proceeds for such activity at risk of federal prosecution.


Pennsylvania Announces First Round of Medical Marijuana Permits

The Department of Health announced the winners of 12 grower/processor permits as part of Pennsylvania's nascent medical marijuana industry.

John Collins, director of the state's Office of Medical Marijuana, said the department received 457 applications in total, including 177 prospective grower/processors and 280 for dispensaries.

The 12 grower/processor permit awardees are included below:


Lehigh University Looks to Study Cannabis Effect on Autistic Children

As Pennsylvania prepares to award its first licenses for the fledgling medical marijuana industry, Lehigh University intends to partner with one of the potential growers in the Lehigh Valley to study the effect of the drug on children with autism.

While some parents of autistic children have preached the benefits of cannabis for years, Lehigh's Dean of Education Gary Sasso confirmed Monday that the university wants to collect some of the first quantitative data on the controversial drug therapy. Pennsylvania is one of the few states that specifically allows children with autism to be treated with cannabis.


Wolf: I'll Protect Medical Marijuana Patients from Jeff Sessions

Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf isn’t happy with a letter that surfaced this week from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.


Medical marijuana businesses in PA have a cold, hard cash problem

One of the chief concerns about constructing medical marijuana dispensaries and growing facilities in Philadelphia is security. In other states that have legalized medical cannabis, growing sites have become targets for break-ins — but not necessarily because fiending burglars want to get their hands on sweet, medically acceptable kush.

Dispensaries and growers are often targets because of how most of them conduct business: Cash. Most major banks won’t work with marijuana-related businesses for fear of running afoul of federal regulations that stipulate marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug. And that’s expected to create real problems for marijuana-related businesses here in Pennsylvania, as it has elsewhere.


Will Philadelphia Eliminate Marijuana Drug Testing?

Philadelphia’s Mayor, who said marijuana drug testing keeps people out of the job market, is open to talking about alternatives.

Philadelphia government can’t legalize marijuana but it does have the flexibility to make life easier for cannabis consumers by, for example, banning the THC drug test for certain jobs, or, at the very least, prohibiting employers from testing potential employees until a conditional job offer is made, similar to the ban-the-box movement which favors returning citizens.


California, Florida Among States Offering Breaks to Nonwhite Marijuana Business Owners

In West Virginia, a new law includes a provision that requires regulators to encourage minority-owned business owners to apply for growing licenses. (Photo by Heath Korvola/ Digital Vision/Getty Images)

In some states that have legalized marijuana, officials are trying to entice nonwhite citizens to join the cannabis industry with breaks aimed at making up for the toll unequal drug enforcement has taken on Black and brown communities.

So far, the booming industry has overwhelmingly line the pockets of white cannabis sellers.


Researchers Amazed by Cases of Cannabis Helping Children Failed by Conventional Medicine

Winding through the lush valleys of Pennsylvania the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio rivers flow. At their confluence is the city of three rivers: Pittsburgh.

Long-dubbed "Steel City," Pittsburgh’s industrial landscape has evolved since the heyday of the steel mills. These days, Pittsburgh’s 1,600 technology firms are helping redefine the town, generating $20.7 billion in annual payrolls. Now, Pittsburgh is gradually growing to be a notable player in the cannabis research space, as well.


Loophole in PA's medical marijuana laws could let dispensaries sell the plant

When the Pennsylvania legislature last year passed a bill legalizing medical marijuana, it did so largely under the impression that dispensaries wouldn’t sell the drug in its plant form, but only in infused oils, pills and ointments.

By next year though, when dispensaries begin opening across the state, that may not be the case. A little-known loophole in the law could allow for dispensaries to distribute plant-form marijuana meant for vaporization.


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