All Applicants Then Pay A $200,000 Application Fee Which Is Refunded If The Application Is Rejected.

The fact that it took Pennsylvania years to legalize a proven medical benefit for its residents shows the reluctance of many. And those concerns are part of the controlled rollout and vetting of potential operators in this new pharma industry. The permit process divides Pennsylvania into six regions and, like the casino licenses doled out in 2006, has limited the number of licenses for both dispensaries and grow/processing facilities in each region. With two slotted for the Southeast region, that means there are already three more applications in the eight-county Southeast region than will ultimately be approved. Pennsylvania Health Secretary Karen Murphy expects about 900 applications statewide from which 12 will be chosen. In addition to only two grow facilities per region, Act 16 limits the number of dispensaries to 50 statewide, 10 of which will be located in the Southeast region. To apply for a permit for a grow/processing facility costs $10,000, not refundable, as well as proof of $2 million capital $500,000 of which has to be cash or on deposit in a financial institution. All applicants then pay a $200,000 application fee which is refunded if the application is rejected. The facilities will be sophisticated and secure operations designed to make pharmaceutical-grade pills, lotions and creams not a garden of weeds and people rolling joints and smoking. The industry is projected to create as many as 5,000 jobs in Pennsylvania, and judging from what has happened in other states, it will generate millions of dollars in tax revenue.

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