Wolf said Thursday that almost 3,000 patients have obtained medical marijuana cards, more than 17,000 have registered to participate, and some 700 doctors have been qualified or are getting qualified to treat patients.
This stage of the implementation process is taking place ahead of schedule, less than two years after Gov. Tom Wolf signed Act 16 into law. About 700 doctors have registered for the program and 376 have completed the training to become certified.
Patients are advised to call their nearest dispensary to see if an appointment is required. The event will feature State Representative Aaron Kaufer; Lawrence Clark, deputy director of the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Office of Medical Marijuana; and Andrew Blasco, executive director of the Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition, as guest speakers.
The first legal medical marijuana sales under a two-year-old state law began Thursday at a dispensary in western Pennsylvania, with the first purchase by a woman who lobbied for passage of the law. Briggs, who lobbied for passage of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana law, was the first person to legally buy the drug from a dispensary in the state.
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Pennsylvania allows medical marijuana for those with one of 17 qualifying conditions, including AIDS, autism, cancer, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain and Crohn's disease. This Friday, three more dispensaries will open, and another two will open on Saturday. "[People] have actually been coming all week long, people have been dropping by nearly on an hourly basis wanting to know when we're going to open". Marijuana cards from other states are not valid.
CY+ will carry over 100 pharmaceutical-grade, medical marijuana products including capsules, oils, waxes, concentrates and tinctures.
Operators of Organic Remedies said security will be tight at their building.
"It just feels really good to be able to help people that thus far haven't had a whole lot of relief from their conditions", Hauser said. Additional permits have also been issued for dispensaries in Lebanon, Carlisle, Gettysburg and Chambersburg.