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Pennsylvania Releases First Draft of Medical Marijuana Cultivation Regulations

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New regulations pertaining to Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana cultivation program have been released, they show that the industry is off to a good start. The draft of the rules explains the process of medical marijuana cultivation, tracking and protection. They will be the guidelines for the winners of the 25 lucrative permits for growers and processors.

“They’ve given us a pretty clear roadmap of what they consider important,” said Patrick Nightingale, a former Allegheny County prosecutor who is now executive director of the Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Society.

The fast release of the draft regulations show that the state is eager to make the medical marijuana industry grow and get the legal medication out to the patients whom need it. Pennsylvania became the 24th state to have a usable medical marijuana program after Governor Tom Wolf signed it into law in April, 2016.

“The thing that shouldn’t be lost in this is the speed with which the government developed regulations. Everything so far has happened on schedule,” Michael Bronstein, the Philadelphia-based co-founder of the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp, said.

Some of the regulations include diversity, businesses must hire employees of different minority groups. This is done in hopes to promote racial diversity and to make more opportunities available for minority owned businesses and contractors.  Another regulation states that they can not obtain out-of-state cannabis strains and plants but they will be allowed to import seeds for their first crops.

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An industry expected to grow from these guidelines is the organic pesticide producers. One of the regulations states that only natural essential oils or other organic materials should be used to prevent and control pests, fungus and insects. The use of these organic herbicides and fungicides must be approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. Organic materials allowed include pepper, cinnamon oil, and garlic.

The new regulations show that the state has really taken into account what other states have successfully done and how they hope to do it better. If put into place effectively, these regulations could become one of the most innovative medical marijuana programs a state has created to date.

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