Department of Health announces application timeline

Last update: December 23, 2016


Pennsylvania patients moved one step closer to access on December 21 when Pennsylvania Health Department Secretary Karen Murphy announced applications for grower/processor and dispensary permits will become available on January 17 and are due on March 20.

The department will announce a first round of approvals — up to 12 grower/processor permits and up to 27 dispensary permits — in late June. A second round of permits will be issued at an undetermined later date.

For purposes of medical marijuana licensing, the department has divided the state into six regions with a maximum of two grower/processor permits issued per region. Meanwhile, up to 27 dispensary permits will be issued in specific counties. Each dispensary permit is allowed three locations. The first location must be in the assigned county, but additional locations must be located elsewhere in the region.

screen-shot-2016-12-08-at-5-16-31-pmFor more information, check out the temporary regulations for growers/processors and dispensaries. Laboratory regulations will be released on December 24.  Patient and doctor regulations are expected early next year.

MPP is hosting a canna-business seminar in Harrisburg on January 28 where you can learn about the regulations and application process. For tickets and more information, please click here.

Medical marijuana resources


MPP has developed a number of fact sheets for Pennsylvania patients, caregivers, doctors, and employers. Please print and share these materials with others, including your physician.

You can also learn more on MPP’s medical marijuana page.



On May 17, 2016, Rep. Ed Gainey, one of the lead sponsors of medical marijuana legislation in Pennsylvania, introduced HB 2706, a bill that would decriminalize the possession of marijuana. Currently, an individual arrested for possession of up to an ounce of marijuana can still be sentenced to a maximum of 30 days in jail and fined up to $500. Rep. Gainey’s bill would reduce the penalty to a fine not to exceed $100.

This long-overdue change would dramatically reduce the number of Pennsylvanians who have their dreams derailed by a criminal record. A 2013 study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that although blacks and whites use marijuana at nearly identical rates, enforcement is far from equal: blacks in Pennsylvania are 5.2 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.

Localities in Pennsylvania are leading the charge for more sensible marijuana policies. Since October 2014, the local governments in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and the State College Borough have each approved measures to reduce the penalty for personal use possession of marijuana to a simple fine. Our friends at the Keystone Cannabis Coalition have played a leading role in these reforms.

Tell your state legislators it’s time the full Commonwealth follow suit.

Take action!


Stay connected:

To stay updated on the status of marijuana policy reform in Pennsylvania, be sure to subscribe to MPP’s free legislative alert service now.

Take action:

Write your representatives and tell them to support the decriminalization of marijuana!

Contact us:

If you are a medical professional or a patient who might benefit from medical marijuana, or if you know somebody who might benefit from medical marijuana and you want to get involved, contact us at [email protected]. Please include your zip code so we can determine who your lawmakers are.

Additionally, if you are a doctor, veteran, law enforcement official, a person who was arrested for marijuana possession, or an attorney, please email [email protected] to learn how you can be of special help.