A Closer Look at Recent Amendments to Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act

December 27, 2023

On December 14, 2023, Governor Josh Shapiro signed Senate Bill 773 amending Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act. The law goes into effect April 12, 2024.  The amendments to the Act allow eligible independent grower-processor permittees to apply to receive a dispensary permit. The grower-processor permittees that are awarded a dispensary permit would be allowed to operate up to three dispensary locations.  In addition, eligible independent dispensary permittees may apply for a permit to grow and process marijuana. 

The legislation mandates that the PA Department of Health (“PA DOH”) develop a standard application form and open an application period for the additional grower-processor and dispensary permits by no later than May 12, 2023.  It is anticipated that the PA DOH will publish additional information regarding the permitting process on its website and in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The PA DOH is to review a permit application within 45 days of receipt of the application.  The legislation requires that a permit applicant certify that it will not enter into a change of control transaction for a period of one year, unless under certain circumstances. 

The expansion of medical marijuana permits could bring in an estimated $1.79 million in revenue from application and permit fees associated with the legislation.[1]  In subsequent years, the Commonwealth could generate approximately $90,000 annually in renewal fees from the additional permits.  An initial application fee for an independent grower-processor applying for a dispensary permit is $5,000 and the permit fee is $30,000 for each dispensary location.  An independent dispensary applying for a grower-processor permit must pay an initial application fee of $10,000 and a permit fee of $200,000. 

The Regulated Substances team at Eckert Seamans has successfully represented companies in obtaining medical marijuana permits in Pennsylvani and is well-versed in PA DOH regulations.  If you are interested in applying for a permit under the recently enacted legislation, please let us know.

The Regulated Substances Blog is intended to keep readers current on developments regarding medical marijuana regulation and is not intended to be legal advice.  If you have any questions, please contact Sarah Stoner at sstoner@eckertseamans.com, or Renardo (Rick) Hicks at rhicks@eckertseamans.com.

[1]    See House Committee on Appropriations Fiscal Note dated November 15, 2023, available at https://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/BI/FN/2023/0/SB0773P1229.pdf.

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Sarah C. Stoner

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