Applications available for medical marijuana businesses

David Weissman
  • Applications for medical marijuana dispensaries and grower/processors accepted Feb. 20-March 20.
  • Applications will include nonrefundable $10,000 or $5,000 fee.

Aspiring medical marijuana business owners in Pennsylvania got their first  look at applications Tuesday for a limited number of available permits.


The state Department of Health posted applications for growers/processors and dispensaries on its website for the first phase of its process.

The department announced in December that it would grant up to two grower/processor permits in each of six regions throughout the state and up to 27 dispensary permits.

York County is located in region 3, which will be allocated up to four dispensary permits, one of which has been earmarked for York County.

The department will accept applications from Feb. 20 to March 20, according to spokeswoman April Hutcheson.

Grower/processor hopefuls must include a $10,000 nonrefundable application fee and a $200,000 permit fee, which will be returned if the applicant isn't awarded a permit.

Dispensary hopefuls must include a $5,000 nonrefundable application fee and $30,000 permit fee.

Each person or group awarded a dispensary permit may open three dispensaries, but each must be located in the same region and in different counties. Each additional dispensary location would require a $30,000 permit fee, according to program director John Collins.

Collins said the department is anticipating about 900 applicants, and the department will need at least 90 days to review all the materials before making any decisions.

Since Act 16 was signed last April by Gov. Tom Wolf, allowing for the creation of a medical marijuana program, the department has maintained that product will likely be available for patients by mid-2018.

Collins advised each applicant to carefully review instructions posted on the department's website, the language of Act 16 and guidelines posted previously through the state bulletin.

A York Township couple had been seeking a grower/processor permit for their property in Windsor Township, but township officials' interpretation of the zoning ordinance has forced them to look elsewhere.

Kipp Allison, Windsor Township's zoning officer, said the zoning hearing board unanimously denied the request of Keith and Cathy Shaffer because the property was in a commercial zone. If it had been in an industrial zone, it would have been allowed, he said.

Ed Paskey, an attorney representing the Shaffers, said the couple is seeking alternative locations but declined to provide specifics.

— Reach  David Weissman at or on Twitter at @DispatchDavid. Like his cannabis business blog on Facebook at The CannaBiz Kid.