Medical marijuana in Pa.: Who gets the $$? – witf.org
In this Tuesday, March 28, 2017 photo, Meagan Holt holds a vial of cannabis oil she uses to comforts her daughter Maddie. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
(Undated) — In June, 39 companies will emerge as victors in a statewide competition for permits to grow and sell medical marijuana.
Twelve companies will be allowed to grow marijuana and process it into medical products. Twenty-seven other companies will be able to sell it at dispensaries, with up to three dispensaries per company.
More than 500 companies applied for the permits, according to a recent Pennsylvania Department of Health estimate. Each permit to grow marijuana costs $10,000. Each permit to open a dispensary costs $5,000.
In addition, companies had to pay the state $200,000 per grower processor permit and $30,000 per location for each dispensary. The 400-some-odd companies that don’t get permits will be refunded this money. However, the state will keep the money from those awarded the permits.
That all adds up to about $8.7 million, according to a line item in this year’s state budget.
The budget also projects about $1.4 million in tax income for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, as well as $750,000 in “patient identification card fees.”
All told, the state’s fledgling medical marijuana program projects a $7.9 million cash balance for the next fiscal year, the budget shows. Here’s where that money goes:
40 percent to run the program
The Medical Marijuana Program runs without taxpayer assistance, said April Hutcheson, Pennsylvania Department of Health spokeswoman. The plan is to keep it that way.
The program employs about five people, but it could employ more after permits are issued and the first medical cannabis is sold.
The program funds also includes money for “outreach and other required projects,” the budget states.
The state will assess funding to determine how much it needs to operate in the