County planners come away with more questions than answers on roll out of Pa. medical marijuana

Doctor holding medical marijuana

Pennsylvania is in the process of permitting medical marijuana.

The implementation of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania was the focus of a session Tuesday during the annual conference of the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Planning Association.

The meeting raised more questions than answers regarding the commonwealth’s recent legalization of medical pot.

Questions included:

Who reviews the medical marijuana applications?

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What will happen to growers who aren’t up and running in six months?

Will businesses be able to get financial backing from banks?

“Will all of the medical marijuana organizations make it? Not quite sure yet. Again, we see fatal flaws like banking and financing,” said attorney Tamara Fox.

The state Department of Health has issued about half of its grower and dispensary permits. Last week, a processor in Jefferson County became the first to get the final OK to grow.

Some of the questions may get answered in an upcoming case in Commonwealth Court. After Keystone ReLeaf lost its bid for a growing permit, it filed an injunction against the Health Department asking for permitting process to be begun from scratch.  The department had kept secret the identities of panelists who picked the permit winners, a violation of the state’s Right-to-Know law.

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