Pennsylvania medical marijuana companies try to kill MMJ research program

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.

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7 comments on “Pennsylvania medical marijuana companies try to kill MMJ research program
  1. lovingc on

    A stupid outlook, the more the merrier. The research is important to improve the numbers ôf customers. Like I said stupid, and short sighted.

    • Cricco on

      Despite the headline, none of the current approved growers or dispensaries in the state’s MMJ program wish to curtail MMJ research. They are only saying that PA does not need 8 more growers and 48 new storefront dispensaries, especially ones with an inside tract against their competition. The existing PA growers and dispensers can handle all of the state’s MMJ research supply and demand load. That’s a fact. The winning MMJ growers and dispensary applicants went through two years of a fair, rigorous, and very expensive PA application process. They can now cover the state with 150 dispensaries. All the state’s applicants understood this figure to be the upper limit of their eventual business competition.

      AFTER THE FACT, a group of un-vetted (or previously rejected-applicants) from the application competition, and representing big money interests ($15,000,000 necessary investment) are being put in place to UNFAIRLY compete with the existing smaller businesses. If these businesses knew that this was coming, many of the small operators would never have entered the risky process to seek an MMJ license and start growing and dispensing (already well underway). Increasing the number of state-wide dispensaries by 25% amounts to removing the profit-margin from the MMJ business for many of these smaller operations.

      What will happen after these dispensaries can’t sustain themselves in the face of the new deep-pocket MMJ research competition in the PA marketplace? More will go under financially, while the big “research” players gobble up a larger and larger portion of a marketshare they were never intended to participate in. This would effectively make a sham of the state’s fair application process.

      Let the 8 medical research facilities work out arrangements with the existing MMJ growers and dispensers to cover all their MMJ research needs. This isn’t about research. It’s about
      un-vetted big-money muscling in the backdoor to usurp the winners of the state’s fair application process. Rep. Kathryn Watson (R-Bucks) know this She’s just keeping her foot in the door to facilitate the after-the-fact entry of big money interests.

  2. Adam Mintz on

    Way to go, PA! You have one of the best set of cannabis regulations I’ve seen drafted, but you would rather kill cannabis research to better pad your pockets a little more. Nice to see these new licensees putting patients first…what a joke.

  3. Mike on

    Yes, I’m sure losing a monopoly grip on the market would undercut their businesses. Throwing that challenge out would be a good start onto a long road.

  4. Mike on

    Unrelated to this article, I think it is great that opiate addiction is listed as an illness for which medical marijuana is a treatment option. For once the Commonwealth is ahead of the rest of the states on an important issue. Typically Pennsylvania rounds off the end of the pack on legislation such as this.

  5. Thomas M Wilson on

    It is all new to alot of users and nonusers, but to be competitive the rules have to be equal. They should set up a system where as, all the growers take turns supplying the research centers on a rotating basis. This would stop a monopoly from taking place and let the profits be shared equally. There is enough for all and pay the workers good

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