First marijuana grower and processor to begin operations in Pennsylvania

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania’s Department of Health approved medical marijuana grower and processor Cresco Yeltrah to begin planting seeds in Jefferson County, northeast of Pittsburgh.

"Every day we hear from patients who are desperately waiting for medical marijuana to help alleviate the symptoms of their serious medical conditions," Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said in a statement. 

"My message to them today is that Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program is moving forward and we will have medication to them sometime in 2018," Wolf added.


Pennsylvania's first legal marijuana crop gets the green light

medical marijuana grower/processor in western Pennsylvania became the first state licensee Tuesday to receive the go-ahead to begin production.

Cresco Yeltrah in Jefferson County, northeast of Pittsburgh, is one of 12 grower/processors licensed for Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program, the state Department of Health announced.

"Every day we hear from patients who are desperately waiting for medical marijuana to help alleviate the symptoms of their serious medical conditions," Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement. "My message to them today is that Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program is moving forward and we will have medication to them sometime in 2018.


Poll: Majority of Pennsylvania voters support legalized marijuana

Support in Pennsylvania to fully legalize marijuana has reached a record high, according to a poll published Thursday by Franklin and Marshall College.

A majority of voters in the Keystone State, 59 percent, said “yes” when asked if cannabis should be made legal, said polling director Terry Madonna. When pollsters first began asking the question in 2006, only 22 percent were pro-pot.

“Notice the evolution. It’s been a slow and inexorable growth in support during the past decade,” Madonna said. “And it’s important, because Pennsylvania has had a history of being a relatively conservative state on social questions. Nobody has every accused it of being on the cultural vanguard.”


Poll shows support for legal recreational marijuana, Pennsylvania Auditor General says time to ...

On Sept. 21, Franklin & Marshall College released its latest political poll showing Pennsylvanians are emerging with clear eyes in their support for legalizing recreational marijuana. According to the poll of about 400 registered voters, 59 percent of Pennsylvanians say that recreational marijuana should be made legal. Only 31 percent say that it shouldn’t be made legal, with 9 percent undecided. The support and opposition are both the highest and lowest results, respectively, the poll has ever seen.

Support for legal weed is up 3 percentage points since May 2017 and up 19 points since June 2015.


Pittsburgh City Council takes first steps for medical marijuana permitting process

The city of Pittsburgh has begun the process of setting up a permitting and zoning process for medical marijuana facilities.

Currently, three dispensaries are set to open in January. All three got special waivers from the Planning and Zoning Board to apply, and were granted permission by Pennsylvania to operate.

Councilman Corey O'Connor introduced a bill that would codify the process by which medical marijuana dispensaries, and eventually possibly growers and processors, could operate.

O'Connor says Pittsburgh has a process set up for methodone clinics, but not marijuana.


How does marijuana's legalization in PA. impact insurance coverage?

Entrants into Pennsylvania's medical marijuana industry will want—and, in many cases, need—to obtain various types of insurance coverage. What happens, though, when one of those businesses is sued or suffers a loss and turns to its insurer for coverage? Will the insurer provide coverage? Or, will the insurer disclaim coverage because it remains illegal under federal law to manufacture, distribute or dispense marijuana? If the insurer attempts to avoid coverage on the basis of public policy or an illegal-acts exclusion, will courts in Pennsylvania allow the insurer to do so, or will they protect the policyholder's right to coverage?


Cannabis Legal Solutions caters to Pennsylvania's new medical marijuana industry

The nascent Pennsylvania medical marijuana industry is creating new work for lawyers statewide. Three attorneys hoping to bring their expertise to this brave new world recently founded Pittsburgh-based Cannabis Legal Solutions.

“A lot of people appreciate if their attorneys have knowledge of the cannabis industry,” said Patrick Nightingale, who with Andrew Gross and Alan Patterson, formed Cannabis Legal Solutions. “Basically, with this new and emerging industry, clients can be well served by attorneys with some familiarity with the cannabis industry, how products are prepared and sold, an overall familiarity, the difference between indica and sativa. There’s not a lot of law firms that have experience with it. It’s been a controlled substance.”


Want medical marijuana to succeed in Pa.? End draconian physician registry

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is moving at full speed trying to implement an extremely limited medical cannabis law, but there may be a poison pill planted by legislators: Making doctors join a special list.

Only two states operate a similarly draconian “physician registry” scheme for marijuana: New York and New Jersey.

This single provision has proved to be the most difficult obstacle for patients trying to gain access in both states because only a handful of doctors have joined.


Green Thumb to start building marijuana facility in September

Green Thumb Industries looks to begin construction in September on its growing facility for medical marijuana in Danville.

CEO Pete Kadens said the design phase of the $5 million-plus project at the Iron Town Commerce Center should be complete by next week. Permit applications for Danville and Montour County will follow.

“We will hopefully be actively in construction beginning in September and through December. We seek to be substantially complete by early to mid-November and to call for an inspection from the Pennsylvania Department of Health at that time,” Kadens said.

GTI was one of 12 companies selected in June by the Department of Health to grow medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. The state set a six-month deadline for growers to be operational.


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