Finally! Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program took a giant step forward as a licensed grower and processor of the herb in northwestern part of the commonwealth became the first to be approved.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health today approved Cresco Yeltrah to begin farming medical marijuana at its Jefferson County location, making it the first facility to be deemed fully operational in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program.

“Every day we hear from patients who are desperately waiting for medical marijuana to help alleviate the symptoms of their serious medical conditions,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a press release. “My message to them today is that Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program is moving forward and we will have medication to them sometime in 2018. Cresco Yeltrah will now be able to grow medical marijuana, making sure that patients will not have to wait much longer.”

Cresco Yeltrah underwent several inspections from the Department of Health. It also is fully integrated with the seed-to-sale tracking system.

“In the coming weeks, we expect the 11 other grower/processors to be ready to grow and process medical marijuana,” Acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said.  “We are working with them, as well as the dispensaries, to ensure the program stays on track.  Patients are our first priority, and we want to get medication to them as safely and efficiently as possible.”

Cresco Yeltrah said it will grow more than 30 genetic strains and will produce pharmaceutical-grade marijuana products such as vapor oils, transdermal patches and pills. The Pennsylvania medical marijuana laws do not allow for flower or herb. Cannabis must be in the form of a pill, oil, cream, ointment, tincture of transdermal patch.

Construction on converting the 40,000-plus-square-foot facility began immediately after the permit was awarded, according to the company. “All of the required mechanisms are in place to ensure

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