Health - March 4, 2016

Medical Marijuana Coming to Pennsylvania?


While the legislature remains at an impasse over the FY 15-16 budget AND the FY 16-17, there seems to be a bipartisan breakthrough on the issue of medical marijuana. The House has scheduled a voting session for March 14 on SB 3 which would legalize medical marijuana and establish the process for growing and dispensing the product in Pennsylvania.  SB 3 passed the Senate last year and has been lingering in the House ever since. 


A broad coalition of advocates has convinced legislators that this drug is vital for the compassionate care of folks with conditions like ALS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy seizures and chronic pain.                                                                                   


Dozens of amendments have been filed for when Senate Bill 3 is considered on the House floor.

The House Republicans are representing an omnibus amendment as their alternative to SB 3 and will try to keep other changes to a minimum.


Some highlights of the package:




25 growers/processors
50 dispensaries (up to three locations allowed)
No one person to hold more than 5 dispensary licenses
No one person to hold more than one grower/processor license
No more than 5 grower/processors may also be registered as dispensaries




No medical marijuana from outside PA
Individual doses not to exceed 10% THC
Scrip not to exceed 30 days
Physician or Pharmacist to be on site when dispensary is open 

(if multiple locations – can be at a licensee’s “branch” location)


Fees – Growers/Processors


$10,000 initial application fee – non-refundable
$200,000 registration fee (returned if registration not granted)
$10,000 annual renewal
$2,000,000 capital requirement; $500,000 on deposit in a bank 


Fees – Dispensaries


$5,000 initial applciation fee – non-refundable
$30,000 registration fee (returned if not granted)
$5,000 annual renewal (no additional fees for more than one location)
$150,000 capital requirement which must be on deposit in a bank




5% gross receipts tax on grower/processors sales to dispensaries 

(no additional taxes to be imposed at retail point of sales)


Some Requirements


Real time inventory tracking
Seed-to-sale tracking at grower/processors
Purchase-to-end user tracking by dispensaries
Daily log of inventory and sales 
Plant waste tracking for grower/processors


Effective date


18 months after enactment or upon issuance of temporary regulations 

(whichever comes first)