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Chemists and scientists, get ready.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health published temporary regulations for laboratories interested in testing medical marijuana in the Dec. 24 edition of the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

According to a news release, Chapter 1171 will outline how laboratory operators who want to test medical marijuana may do so legally.

“The temporary regulations help us ensure that patients will receive safe medication to help treat medical conditions,” Secretary Karen Murphy said in the release. “Laboratories are essential to maintaining the integrity and quality assurance of the medication patients will get at a dispensary.”

The regulations lay out how laboratory approvals will be issued, renewed and suspended or revoked; protocols, quality assurance programs, transportation, advertising and reporting guidelines.

The first set of regulations, set to expire on Dec. 24, 2018, are just the beginning of a full implementation of the state's medical marijuana program. Signed into law in April, it allows Pennsylvanians to use medical marijuana to treat 17 approved conditions.

In a teleconference earlier this week, Office of Medical Marijuana director John Collins said residents offering their input on the rollout most often cited pain management and post-traumatic stress disorder as their reasons for wanting the drug.

During the conference, the department announced information on applications for growers and processors will be released Jan. 17.

The department expects to publish additional temporary regulations as they’re ironed out. Regulations for practitioners will come first, followed by patients and caregivers, and academic clinical research centers.

Interested parties are asked to submit comments, suggestions or objections regarding the temporary regulations to John H. Collins, Office of Medical Marijuana, Department of Health Room 628, Health and Welfare Building, 625 Forester St., Harrisburg, PA 17120. They may also call 717-787-4366 or email RA-DHMedMarijuana@Pa.gov.

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