Gov. Tom Wolf

Pennsylvania officials have released a draft of the rules that will govern the medical marijuana growers and processors in the state, The Inquirer reports. The rules define how marijuana should be cultivated, protected, and tracked.

Some of the key rules include:

  • Prohibition of out-of-state cannabis plants — growers will be allowed a 30-day window to import seeds for their first crops, after which crops must be grown using clones, grafts, and seeds from in-state producers.
  • Pest, insect, and fungi should be controlled using essential oils and other organic materials.
  • Public officials and state employees are barred from holding a financial interest in medical marijuana companies and are not permitted to work in the industry for one year after leaving their government post.
  • Permits and location sites to grow marijuana can only be transferred if approved by the state.
  • Each medical marijuana entity must have a diversity plan, and the Department of Health must promote racial diversity ensuring that certain opportunities are available for minority owners.

Patrick Nightingale, a former Alleghany County attorney who now serves as the executive director of the Medical Cannabis Society, said the rules give the industry “a pretty clear roadmap” of what the Department of Health considers important.

Some advocates praised the new proposals; however Chris Goldstein, a Philly.com columnist and cannabis activist, said that despite the diversity rules small-scale black business owners, like any would-be medical marijuana business owner in the state, still needs “millions in the bank” in order to qualify for a state permit, possibly making the diversity rules tough to enforce.

The Health Department indicated they would be releasing draft regulations for dispensaries by the end of the year.

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