More than 3,800 patients and 200 caregivers have signed up for Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program in its first week. Officials have said that qualifying patients will start receiving medical marijuana in the next six months.
Governor Tom Wolf called the number of registrations “a success and a testament to the state Department of Health's efforts to fully implement the program," saying it was “another indicator of the need for this vital medication."
Wolf signed the program into law in April 2016. It is set to be fully implemented by 2018. It will make medical marijuana available to patients suffering from a list of 17 conditions.
Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has issued licenses to 27 medical marijuana dispensaries and 12 growers so far across the state. The licensees have six months to become fully operational before medical cannabis sales are expected to begin.
“This has been a highly competitive process and the department received hundreds of quality applications,” John Collins, director of the state’s Office of Medical Marijuana, said in a statement. “Once this program is fully operational, patients with serious medical conditions will have locations throughout the commonwealth where they can purchase medication to help in their treatment. We remain on track to provide medication to patients in 2018.”
Patients and approved physicians can register and later maintain their eligibility on a new state website. More information on the program can be found here.