Pot Of Gold: Tycoons and others are in frenzied race to win PA medical marijuana licenses – Philly.com
Billionaires and aspiring entrepreneurs are hustling around the clock for a shot at the pot of gold that could come with a state license to grow, process, and distribute medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. The race, says a Main Line businessman right in the thick of it, has become “insanely” competitive.
The maneuvering is particularly frenzied — and ferocious — in this region, with eight counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, designated to receive only two of the first 12 grower/processor licenses being issued under the medical-marijuana law enacted last year.
Among the known aspirants are an automotive-repair chain magnate, the daughter of the late Flyers’ owner Ed Snider, and a prominent Delaware County real estate family.
Sensing a chance to marry financial ambitions with a humanitarianism, applicants are scrambling to secure land and zoning approvals as prerequisites. One Philadelphia-area investor is lining up nearly $1 million in required fees and deposits to submit multiple applications by the March 20 deadline.
The winners will help deliver new treatments to Pennsylvanians suffering from cancer, childhood seizures, and other ailments – and they will be positioned to build potentially multimillion-dollar medical marijuana business empires.
“I’m sure there are people putting in 11- to 15-hour days seven days a week. No doubt about it,” said Keith Morgan, 55, the Lower Merion Township heir to the AAMCO transmission-repair fortune, who also holds Krispy Kreme rights in the region. Morgan said he hoped to establish a grower and processor facility in West Pottsgrove, Montgomery County, or in New Castle, outside Pittsburgh. He also wants the state’s blessing to open three dispensaries across southeastern Pennsylvania. Morgan will submit five applications to boost his chances.