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Pennsylvania’s recently appointed Office of Medical Marijuana director, John Collins, begins his new role today – just four days after being tabbed by Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy to help implement the medical marijuana program in the state.

Collins previously served as a public health program assistant administrator with the Division of HIV Disease. Prior to his role with the government, Collins served as a chief operating officer for Triad Isotopes, an Orlando, Florida-based radiopharmaceutical network.

“I am very proud to be chosen to lead such an important office,” he said in a press release announcing the appointment. “My experience in a heavily regulated medical enterprise, market research and new product development, strategic planning, logistics, communications, and customer service is a perfect fit for the requirements of overseeing the implementation of Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program.

The new director will be tasked with rolling out Act 16 – which allows patients with just 17 serious medical conditions to access medical cannabis, making it one of the strictest in the nation. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed the bill in April.

The Health Department has already sent public surveys to help develop temporary regulations for the cannabis industry, created a Medical Marijuana Physician Workgroup, and solicited bids for seed-to-sale tracking technology in preparation for the program’s expected launch early next year.

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