Draft Regulations Shed Light on PA’s Medical Marijuana Program

October 27, 2016
Draft Regulations Shed Light on PA’s Medical Marijuana Program

On October 25, the Department of Health published draft temporary regulations applicable to medical marijuana dispensaries.  The draft regulations are intended to invite public comment and feedback.  Here are a few things we know so far from examining these draft regulations:

  1. After a dispensary obtains a permit, but before it can open the doors, the Department of Health must still make an administrative decision that the dispensary is “operational.”  This will likely require inspections, walkthroughs and continuing oversight.
  2. Dispensaries are not permitted to share a means of ingress and egress with other commercial enterprises.  It is unclear how this provision will be interpreted by the Department and hopefully future drafts of these regulations will clarify it.  However, for the time being  it is clear that the intent is to have Dispensaries in as safe and secure of a location as possible.
  3. The home delivery of medical marijuana is prohibited.
  4. Dispensaries can only sell products with a 0.3% THC or greater.  The practical effect of this requirement may be to significantly limit a dispensaries’ ability to sell other products such as food items, clothing apparel or marketing items.

Importantly, these regulations are in draft form only, so all of this remains subject to change.  However, for the time being, prudent investors and potential permit applicants are seriously exploring these regulations and proceeding with their plans.

The public comment period is scheduled to expire near the end of November.  After that, the Department will review the comments and make any appropriate changes to these regulations before final publication.  One thing is clear however:  Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana industry is here and moving quickly.

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