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First Pennsylvania dispensary authorized to sell medical marijuana |

First Pennsylvania dispensary authorized to sell medical marijuana

| Thursday, January 4, 2018 12:39 p.m
Associated Press
A leaf of marijuana

A Bethlehem dispensary can begin selling medical marijuana to patients as soon as the product is ready, Gov. Tom Wolf announced Thursday.

Wolf said the Pennsylvania Department of Health has approved Keystone Canna Remedies in Bethlehem, Northampton County, to distribute marijuana as soon at it is available from growers. This marks the first state dispensary open for business.

“This is tremendous news for patients and the people who care for them,” Wolf said in a statement. “We are one step closer to providing medical marijuana to patients with serious medical conditions who desperately need this medication. Once the growing process is completed and the dispensary receives medication, patients with medical marijuana identification cards will be able to purchase medication at Keystone Canna Remedies.”

The announcement comes the same day U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he is doing away with the Obama-era policy that had paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country. Sessions’ new stance will instead let federal prosecutors where marijuana is legal decide how aggressively to enforce long-standing federal law prohibiting it.

Keystone Canna Remedies will be allowed to sell medical marijuana to Pennsylvanians with medical marijuana identification cards once grower/processors begin distribution, sometime in the next four months. Wolf said.

So far, the state has approved nine grower/processors to begin operations,

Under state law, patients can apply for a state-issued medical marijuana card if a doctor certifies they have one of 17 qualified medical conditions, including epilepsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis and seizure disorders.

Qualified patients with a doctor’s recommendation will receive a Pennsylvania medical marijuana identification card, allowing the purchase of medical marijuana from an authorized state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary.

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7991, or via Twitter @Bencschmitt.

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