Pennsylvania advances rules under new medical marijuana law

Markets Associated Press

The state moved a few steps closer to setting up a medical marijuana program on Tuesday as the health department posted draft rules for dispensaries and said temporary regulations for growers and processors would be made public in a few days.

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The draft regulations for dispensaries would prohibit facilities within 1,000 feet of schools or day care centers and require employees to be at least 18 years old. Visitors would be notified they are under video surveillance inside the establishments.

The agency also announced that grower and processor temporary regulations will be published online and in the Pennsylvania Bulletin this weekend. It would not disclose details of the grower and processor temporary regulations before they become public.

The regulations will address the electronic tracking of marijuana from seed to final product, how to maintain equipment, the disposal of marijuana, the use of pesticides, fees, tax reporting rules and insurance requirements.

The state is giving people until Nov. 4 to provide feedback.

Health Secretary Karen Murphy said Pennsylvania has issued 103 letters that insulate from criminal charges the approved caregivers who want to bring marijuana into the state to help sick children before the full system is up and running.

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The bill that was signed in April by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf allows patients to take the medicine by pill, oil, vapor, ointment or liquid. Patients will not be able to get marijuana in a form that can be smoked.

Patients can qualify for the program if a doctor verifies they have one of 17 medical conditions. Eventually there could be up to 25 grower-processors and as many as 50 dispensaries, with three locations each, in Pennsylvania.