Jeff Kadens, the owner of GTI, said he plans to educate the public, including U.S. attorneys, about the need for medical marijuana.

David Bruce @ETNBruce

The owner of Erie’s planned medical marijuana dispensary is concerned by the U.S. Attorney General’s announcement that federal prosecutors can pursue cases in states where marijuana is legal.

Nevertheless, and despite those concerns, Pete Kadens said he plans to open his dispensary in March.

“It’s always a concern when the attorney general allows the U.S. attorneys to have full prosecutorial discretion,” said Kadens, president of GTI, which will open the dispensary at 2108 W. Eighth St. “But I don’t think it will alter our plans. We are in full compliance with state laws, we are fully banked, and we will be servicing sick patients. For someone to come and prosecute us for helping someone with AIDS or cancer, I don’t think there will be much of an appetite for that.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Jan. 4 that he was rescinding memorandums that instructed federal prosecutors not to pursue cases against medical marijuana patients and distributors who complied with state laws.

“Previous nationwide guidance specific to marijuana enforcement is unnecessary and is rescinded, effective immediately,” Sessions said in a letter sent to U.S. attorneys in all 50 states.

Pennsylvania is making medicinal cannabis available for patients suffering from any one of 17 serious health conditions. The state’s highest government officials all spoke in favor of medicinal marijuana in the days following the attorney general’s announcement.

Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement that his office will protect patients “from any overreach by the federal government.”

“We legalized medical marijuana in an overwhelming and bipartisan fashion, and we are months away from getting this medicine to patients who need it,” Wolf said.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey,

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