Pennsylvania Cannabis Business Licenses
WHAT IS PENNSYLVANIA'S CURRENT CANNABIS MARKET STATUS?
As the fifth largest state in the U.S. with a population of 13 million people, the Pennsylvania medical cannabis market has the potential to reach extraordinary heights. The state has 72 operating dispensaries and 13 operating cultivation and processing facilities, and over 180,000 medical patients purchased $406 million in cannabis products in 2019. The state allows cannabis recommendations from physicians for an extensive list of 23 medical conditions, which has researchers estimating the patient registry list could amount to more than 300,000 medical patients. The year 2018 brought multiple positive reforms to the program when the Health Department made adjustments to the regulations to expand the original list of 17 qualifying conditions, and allow the sale and possession of cannabis flower rather than only cannabis derived products.
Adult-use recreational cannabis is on the horizon in Pennsylvania with a recent May 2020 poll indicating 62% of voters approve the legalization of cannabis.
WHAT ARE PENNSYLVANIA'S CANNABIS LAWS?
Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 3 into law on April 17, 2016 legalizing the use of medical cannabis in the state of Pennsylvania, making it the 24th state to do so. The bill listed 17 medical conditions for patient qualification, and allowed only non-smokable forms of the plant. Patients are prohibited from growing plants at home, and a sales 5% tax rate between growers, processors and dispensaries was enacted.
State wide decriminalization has yet to occur in Pennsylvania. However, individual municipalities, such as Philadelphia and the state capital, Harrisburg, have started to revise their municipal ordinances to lessen penalties for cannabis offenses. As of now, the top penalty for possession of 30 grams or less is 30 days in jail and a fine of $500. For amounts greater than 30 grams, an offender could receive up to one year in jail and up to $5,000 in fines.
WHAT IS PENNSYLVANIA'S CANNABIS LICENSING TIMELINE & CANNABIS APPLICATION PROCESS?
Applications are not being accepted at this time for a medical cannabis license in Pennsylvania. Stay up to date with weekly updates from Point7 by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF CANNABIS IN PENNSYLVANIA?
Pennsylvania’s Senate Bill 3 was signed into law on April 17, 2016 by Governor Wolf, legalizing medical cannabis in The Keystone State. Originally the law only allowed medical cannabis to treat a list of 17 qualifying conditions, a list that has since grown to include 23 conditions. The original law also limited the types of allowable cannabis to only include non-smokable products. This stipulation was changed in 2018, when The Health Department revised regulations to include smokable products.
On October 9, 2018, a bill was approved by the Pennsylvania House Judiciary committee to reduce simple possession of cannabis penalties to just a fine; however, the legislature adjourned before a vote on the bill was conducted. This hasn’t stopped local cities from revising ordinances of their own to reduce cannabis penalties within their municipalities.
Momentum around adult-use cannabis exists and is supported by Governor Wolf who initiated a statewide listening tour in 2019 to hear what the people of Pennsylvania want in terms of recreational cannabis. On the 70 stop tour conducted by Lieutenant Governor Fetterman, state leaders found that 68% of the state supports adult-use of cannabis. During a press conference on September 25, 2019, Governor Wolf and Lieutenant Governor Fetterman called for the state legislature to take the following three actions: passage of legislation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis; passage of legislation to expunge prior cannabis convictions; and debate and consideration of legislation to legalize cannabis for recreational use.
DOES PENNSYLVANIA HAVE A HEMP PROGRAM?
ARE YOU PREPARING FOR THE PENNSYLVANIA CANNABIS MARKET?
With Governor Wolf's support, legalization is likely to occur in the near future. Being prepared prior to legalization gives a cannabis business the opportunity to thrive while others are in the early stages of planning and buildout. Contact Point7 to discuss measures that can be taken now to ensure your business is ready when legislation passes recreational cannabis adult-use in Pennsylvania.