While the Pennsylvania medical cannabis program has been under the microscope for its application scoring practices, it has now taken a critical step forward in becoming fully operational.
On Oct. 17, 2017, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that the Pennsylvania Department of Health had approved Cresco Yeltrah to start cultivating and processing medical cannabis, making it the first in the state to be greenlit to commence cultivation operations.
“Every day we hear from patients who are desperately waiting for medical marijuana to help alleviate the symptoms of their serious medical conditions,” Wolf said in a press release. “My message to them today is that Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program is moving forward and we will have medication to them sometime in 2018. Cresco Yeltrah will now be able to grow medical marijuana, making sure that patients will not have to wait much longer.”
“Providing relief to patients across the state as quickly as possible is our focus,” said Charlie Bachtell, Cresco Yeltrah co-founder, to The Morning Call. “We’re appreciative of the support (Gov. Tom Wolf) and his administration have given this program.”
The DOH awarded two permits for each of six regions in the state for a total of 12 state-licensed cultivators, with Cresco Yeltrah earning a permit for the Northwest region.
“In the coming weeks, we expect the 11 other grower/processors to be ready to grow and process medical marijuana,” said Acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine. “We are working with them, as well as the dispensaries, to ensure the program stays on track. Patients are our first priority, and we want to get medication to them as safely and efficiently as possible.”