The Pennsylvania State Capitol Building in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Harvey Barrison

Pennsylvania Announces MMJ Dispensary Licensees

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has announced the 27 companies approved to operate medical cannabis dispensaries in the state, just over a week after announcing the 12 companies approved for cultivation and processing permits.

According to a Philadelphia Enquirer report, six dispensaries were approved in Montgomery County, three in Bucks County, and two each in Delaware and Chester Counties.

Four dispensary applications were approved to operate in the City of Brotherly Love, one of which is set to be located near Fishtown’s SugarHouse Casino. However, the approvals did not include locations in Center City, West Philadelphia, Old City, or by the airport.

“There should have been one on Walnut Street. Period,” said Andrew B. Sacks, an attorney and chairman of the medical marijuana and hemp department at Sacks, Weston, Diamond LLC. “This is just asinine.”

The 27 companies awarded licenses will be allowed to operate three locations, and while 81 total dispensaries are allowed by law, many applicants chose not to apply for more than one location leaving 52 total dispensaries to open next year. The operators will be able to apply for their additional allowable dispensaries once their first is up and running.

Under the state law, flower and edible sales are prohibited and dispensaries will only be allowed to sell cannabis oils that can be vaporized or consumed in a solution. All of the state’s applicants were required to pay a $5,000 application fee and post a $30,000 deposit, which is only refundable to the failed bidders. According to the report, the permits are worth about $10 million to $20 million depending on the number of customers and the location.

However, it could take years for operators to see profits in the millions, as some businesses in states that do not allow flower – such as New York and Minnesota – still have yet to turn a profit.

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