Medical marijuana business applicants will be required to pay steep permit fees, have significant capital, pass FBI background checks, and fill out an endless amount of paperwork. As of May, 2016, that much is known. However, the regulatory process for permit applications is still being created.
The Medical Marijuana Program at the Pennsylvania Department of Health is expected to take up to two years to get up and running, but temporary regulations are expected to be posted by November 17, 2016. Permit applications will be available after temporary regulations are issued. Until then, investors and entrepreneurs can ask an attorney to help clarify the complex regulations listed under the Medical Marijuana Act.
Basic Information Required for a Medical Marijuana Business Permit Application
Medical marijuana permits and applications are covered in Chapter 6 of the Medical Marijuana Act (SB3) and are regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. For now, only medical marijuana growers, processors and dispensaries are authorized to receive permits and legally operate under State law as a medical marijuana organization. In order to be granted a permit, a medical marijuana business will have to satisfy financial, security, character and administrative qualifying demands.
- Applicants for medical marijuana growers, processors and dispensaries will be required to attend a two-hour training course.
- A permit is valid for one year.
- Permits are revocable and non-transferable, but relocation and reorganization of a medical marijuana business is allowed with notice.
- To receive a permit for a medical marijuana business, an application for a permit must be completed.
- Once an application is completed, the applicant has a legal duty to report any changes in facts and/or circumstances, and any newly discovered facts and circumstances.
- Applicants are required to report loss and theft of medical marijuana.
- Applicants must submit to all announced and unannounced inspections. During an inspection, applicants are required to allow inspection of all medical marijuana business records.
- If the Department of Health is not satisfied with an application, they are required to inform the applicant in writing of the documents required to complete the application. The applicant will have 30 days to respond to the Department of Health’s request.
Section 602 of Chapter 6 in the Medical Marijuana Act covers the basics of medical marijuana permit requirements. The Department of Health will have more information available as the regulatory systems for medical marijuana oversight are developed.
The Medical Marijuana Act declares the following requirements for medical marijuana business permit applications:
- Verification of investors, principals, operators and employees of medical marijuana businesses.
- List of responsibilities for investors, principals, operators and employees.
- Release forms for government organizations, employers and other organizations.
- Criminal history background check with Pennsylvania State Police of investors, principals, operators and employees.
- Fingerprinting of investors, principals, operators and employees for FBI background check.
- Detailed background information on previous medical marijuana licenses, permits and applications from other states.
- Description of business activity.
- A statement that each financial backer, operator, employee and principal of the applicant is:
- of good moral character;
- has the capital, ability and means for a medical marijuana business;
- can maintain security and prevent abuse, diversion and illegal activity;
- can comply with Pennsylvania laws.
- Diversity in operations through equal access to employment opportunities.
- The medical marijuana business must be beneficial to the public.
- An affidavit from each financial backer and principal listing name, address, and
- previous controlling interest in any business manufacturing or distributing controlled substances;
- previous personal or business-related criminal offenses higher than a summary offense;
- previous medical marijuana suspension or revocations in administrative or judicial proceedings.
- Written notice (from the Department of Health) that a false statement made in the application is punishable under the applicable provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 49.
- Medical marijuana grower and processor applicants must have least $2,000,000 in capital, $500,000 of which must be on deposit with a financial institution.
- Medical marijuana dispensary applicants must have $150,000 in capital on deposit with a financial institution.
- Medical marijuana growers, processors and dispensaries must pay required application fees and permit fees at the time of application.
- Any other information the Department of Health may require.
Medical Marijuana Permit Applications
The following limitations apply to the approval of permits for growers/processors and dispensaries:
- 25 growers/processors
- 50 dispensaries with each dispensary having 3 locations
- No more than 5 individual dispensary permits to 1 person
- No more than 1 individual grower/processor to 1 person
- A dispensary may only obtain marijuana from a grower/processor holding a valid permit under the Act
- A grower/processor may only provide marijuana to a dispensary holding a valid permit under the Act.