The Wolf Administration will open a second round of applications for its medical marijuana research program in early 2019 as no clinical registrant approvals were issued in the first round because none of the eight applicants met the rigorous requirements of the competitive application review process.
“Research is an essential part of our efforts to ensure that patients can find relief from their serious medical conditions with medical marijuana,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Our goal is to ensure that our research program operates at the highest standards. We are disappointed that awards were not made, but must uphold the standards set out in the regulations.”
The research program, directed by Act 43 of 2018, allows for eight clinical registrants that hold both a grower/processor and a dispensary permit. During the first round, the Department of Health received eight applications for clinical registrants.
More than 93,000 patients in Pennsylvania have registered to participate in the medical marijuana program, and more than 62,000 have identification cards and are able to purchase medical marijuana at a dispensary. Approximately 1,360 physicians have registered for the program, 945 of whom have been approved as practitioners.
The medical marijuana program was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on April 17, 2016. Since that time, the department has:
- Completed temporary regulations to enact the program;
- Convened the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board;
- Approved six training providers for physician continuing education;
- Approved four laboratories to test medication before it is delivered to patients;
- Registered more than 93,000 patients and issued more than 62,000 identification cards;
- Validated over 330,000 dispensing events;
- Issued 25 grower/processors permits, 12 of which are operational;
- Issued 27 dispensary permits and approved 42 locations to begin operations; and
- Certified eight medical schools as Academic Clinical Research Centers.
The medical marijuana program offers medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under a practitioner’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by the Medical Marijuana Law.