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Public Expects More Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Available in 2017

Update Date: Jan 24, 2017 08:20 AM EST

The competition for medical marijuana dispensary permits is about to begin. The Department of Health cleared up details of the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program last Dec. 15, 2016, and permits are about to be released this 2017. The marijuana policy program was legislated last April 2016.

Permit applications have already started last Jan. 17 and applications for grower and processor permits will be accepted from Feb. 20 and March 20, with permits to be issued in several phases as reported by The Morning Call.

During the first phase of permit issuance, a total of 27 dispensaries permits and 12 grower/processor permits will be released. The said number falls under half of the total of permits authorized by the law. Surprisingly, 900 groups and organizations have already expressed their interest in producing and dispensing medical marijuana creating worries around the Lehigh Valley region.

These reservations are somehow put into rest with the sliced number of permits to be awarded by the government. Legal analyst of the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project sees this as disappointing. Fewer permits will produce fewer options and lesser access for patients requiring the use of medical marijuana. Fewer options, increases the value of the product making the product harder for patients to access.

In other news, an increase in the cannabis industry in Southern California is expected as Green Point Group leads the way in developing 10+ dispensaries together with large-scale cultivation and manufacturing in the area. Former Hawthorne, California mayor Chris Brown who is now a highly sought after cannabis consultant, managed to increase cannabis cultivation opportunities for cannabis as cited by Huffington Post.

Southern California cities are also amending their ordinances to be able to welcome cultivation, dispensaries, extraction, manufacturing and distribution of medical marijuana. A projected $120 million gross in revenue annually is also expected from the production and distribution of the illicit drug.

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