WAYNESBORO, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Health said it has received more than 500 applications from entities seeking to be awarded the state’s first grower/processor and dispensary permits for medical marijuana.

The department has logged about half of the applicants into a database divided by regions.

The 13-county south-central region, which includes Franklin and Fulton counties, will be awarded four dispensary permits and two grower/processor permits.

The database currently reflects 35 applications for the region, but might expand as applications are logged.

“As we continue to review permit applications and work on our temporary regulations based on feedback from the community, we move closer and closer to getting this desperately needed medicine into the hands of those who will benefit most from it,” Dr. Karen Murphy, secretary of the health department, said in a news release.

Medical marijuana in pill, gel, oil and similar forms, but not smokable, is approved for 17 conditions in Pennsylvania under Act 16 of 2016.

Two companies announced their intentions to open cannabis-related businesses in Franklin County before applications were submitted.

SusqueCanna Pharma is eyeing a Wharf Road Industrial Park site for grower/processor greenhouses in Washington Township, Pa., and Viridis Medicine LLC signed a lease for a former bank to operate a dispensary at 405 Wayne Ave. in Chambersburg, Pa.

Residents with conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or cancer, as certified by a doctor, can be issued identification cards to visit dispensaries such as the one proposed in Chambersburg.

The state health department plans to issue permits at the end of June.

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