Pa. releasing names of potential marijuana sellers, but not locations

     Caretakers oversee a grow room for medical marijuana at ShowGrow, a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles. Pennsylvania officials Wednesday released a few more details of its medical marijuana. (Richard Vogel/AP Photo)

    Caretakers oversee a grow room for medical marijuana at ShowGrow, a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles. Pennsylvania officials Wednesday released a few more details of its medical marijuana. (Richard Vogel/AP Photo)

    Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has revealed a few new details on the lengthy rollout of its medical marijuana program.

    Officials have released the names of dozens of potential dispensaries, though they won’t say where exactly they’ll be located.

    The deadline to apply for licenses to grow or sell marijuana was March 20. Health Secretary Karen Murphy said the department received more than 500 applications, and has so far reviewed 258.

    The list of processed applicants is available online; it includes corporate names such as “Holistic Pharma” and “Keystone Medicinals,” as well as their location by region.

    Asked Wednesday whether the DOH plans to release addresses where these growers and dispensers could set up shop, Murphy said no — not until they decide which 12 growers and 81 dispensers to license.

    “At this point, we believe that the information we have provided is adequate, and it would be premature for us to state where a permittee was actually going to operate their business,” she said.

    John Collins, who’s in charge of the marijuana program, also said the department decided releasing addresses wouldn’t be the best use of its time.

    “Creating such a report would be time consuming, and would take away from the necessary efforts that we have underway to get medical marijuana to patients in as short a time as possible,” he said.

    That’s a different approach from a decade ago, when the officials released addresses during the application period for the commonwealth’s then-brand-new casino industry.

    Murphy said people should check with municipal officials if they want to know whether a dispensary might set up shop in their town.

    She said the permitting process is still on track — and set to be completed by its end-of-June deadline.

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