Application window opens for PA’s medical cannabis market

Cannabis entrepreneurs looking to do business in Pennsylvania’s impending medical marijuana industry have one month to submit applications for licenses.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health said it will start accepting applications for grower/processor and dispensary licenses from Feb. 20 until March 20.

The non-refundable fee for growing and processing applications is $10,000; the dispensary application fee, also non-refundable, is $5,000.

Per the MMJ law the state enacted in April 2016, regulators can award up to 25 grower/processor licenses and up to 50 dispensary licenses, although each dispensary licensee is permitted three locations.

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana market has the potential to be one of the largest in the nation – an estimated 100,000-200,000 patients could generate over $100 million in annual dispensary sales – but opportunities for businesses will be small because of the limited number of licenses and an expected high demand from local and out-of-state entrepreneurs.

The permitting process will be rolled out in two phases. During Phase 1, 27 dispensary licenses and 12 grower/processor licenses will be made available. The state has not yet announced the plan for Phase 2, but some industry experts believe it could be a long while.

The health department said in its licensing announcement it expects the program to be “fully implemented by 2018.”