Pennsylvania medical marijuana companies try to kill MMJ research program

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Six growers and nine dispensary owners in Pennsylvania have filed a legal challenge to a fledgling medical cannabis research program they contend would “flood the market with medical marijuana” and undercut their businesses.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the coalition of MMJ companies is asking a judge to nullify the state-authorized research program before it gets underway.

The program would allow eight hospitals in the state to contract with MMJ producers, The Inquirer reported, and each of those  producers would be permitted to run their own grows and up to six dispensaries.

That would add up to an industry expansion of 48 more retailers and eight growers, on top of the 150 dispensaries and 25 growers the state program is already on track to permit.

The complaint, filed with a Pennsylvania judge, asks for the research program – and the 48 dispensaries and eight cultivation operations that would result from it – to be declared invalid, according to the newspaper.

A hearing on the complaint is scheduled for May 2.

The state has not signed off on any specific hospital MMJ research plans or permits for associated companies.

But several hospitals have already contracted with companies that applied for but didn’t win state MMJ licenses, or with companies that didn’t even compete for the permits.

The state will continue to accept MMJ hospital applications until May 24, and the state department of health is taking applications from would-be research growers through July 12.