last updated 4/16

After the first round of permits were issued in Pennsylvania, we knew that round 2 was imminent. The latest info from the Department of Health gave the following information regarding expansion:


  • A total of 13 additional grow/processor licenses will be issued
  • The first license will be awarded to the highest overall scorer regardless of region, and then 2 permits will be issued in each of PA’s 6 regions
  • If you applied in round 1. you must re-apply for round 2 – nothing automatically transfers from previous filings, although the application remains largely the same with the exception of an adjustment in scoring rubric. (Operational plan now worth additional points in total)  The diversity plan is also more clearly defined now, with subsections of points, still totaling 100.  

Retail / Dispensary

  • A total of 23 additional commercial retail licenses will be issued, each allowing 3 locations, bringing the additional storefront tally to 69
  • Dispensaries will be awarded by region as such: Nine in region 1, Three in region 2, Three in region 3, Two in region 4, Four in region 5, and Two in region 6.

Licensing Timeline

  • Permit applications for program expansion were released on April 5th
  • Eligible applications must be post marked no later than May 17th

Commercial Totals

  • Additional retail locations will bring PA’s new total to 150
  • Additional grow/process permits will bring new total to 25

Clinical Research (CR) Program Developments

Pennsylvania has been hailed quite a bit recently for the vast potential that lies within their unique Clinical Research license program. They’re the first state to put forth this type of arrangement, and the entire cannabis community will surely be watching them carefully and with excitement. The current program guidelines note that:

  • 8 CR licenses will be issued to operators who are partnered with one of PA’s major university health institutions
  • Each of the 8 producers can also operate up to 6 dispensaries
  • The application process has 2 stages – one for the university and then one for the operating partner
  • April 5 – May 3rd is the window for universities to apply and be certified as an eligible institution
  • For their operator counterparts, applications will be made available May 24th, and are due to be postmarked no later than July 12th

When the expanded program is fully up to speed by late next year, including CRs, there will be 33 cultivation operations and up to 198 retail outlets selling medical cannabis to patients in Pennsylvania.

There have been recent discussions about future considerations for allowing flower, and on Monday 4/9/18, the Advisory Committee voted 11-0 in favor with one abstaining, to allow the sale of flower/dried plant material for the purposes of vaporization. This vote on the recommendation was not yet legislatively binding, but rather a necessary step in order for the recommendation to be passed to the Secretary of Health for approval.  

On 4/16, the Secretary of Health did accept and approve the recommendation, which is a huge step for Pennsylvania! The Wolf administration voiced that patients should have access to flower sometime this summer.

Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine also accepted the recommendation to add four new qualifying conditions, allowing use in cancer remission and opioid addiction therapies, and for neuro-degenerative and spastic movement disorders.

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