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Department of Health Approves Final Clinical Registrant for Medical Marijuana Research Program

08/05/2020

Harrisburg, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Health today approved the eighth clinical registrant, Goodblend Pennsylvania, LLC, who will be part of the state’s first-in-the-nation research program for medical marijuana. A clinical registrant holds both a medical marijuana grower/processor and a dispensary permit and is affiliated with an approved academic clinical research center.

“We are thrilled that each of our approved academic clinical research centers now has a research contract with a clinical registrant,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program continues to be a leader for the country as we conduct comprehensive research through this program. The work already being done by these partners is providing physicians with more evidence-based research to make clinical decisions for their patients. This is the cornerstone of our program and the key to our clinically-based, patient-focused program for those suffering with cancer, PTSD and other serious medical conditions.”

Goodblend Pennsylvania LLC is affiliated with University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pittsburgh and will join the seven clinical registrants previously approved. Three clinical registrants were approved in June 2019, with four additional clinical registrants approved in February of 2020.

The clinical research program, guided by the Medical Marijuana Act, or Act 43 of 2018, allows for eight clinical registrants who each must hold both a grower/processor and a dispensary permit. Clinical registrants must have a research contract with one of eight approved academic clinical research centers.

There are close to 225,000 active certifications as part of the medical marijuana program. Nearly 378,000 patients and caregivers are registered for the program in order to obtain medical marijuana for one of 23 serious medical conditions.

There are currently 89 operational dispensaries in the commonwealth providing medication to patients. Active cardholders are continuing to visit dispensaries an average of two times a month to get treatment for a serious medical condition. Close to 16.5 million products have been sold since the start of the program, and total sales within the program are close to $1.3 billion, which includes sales by the grower/processors to the dispensaries of more than $519 million, and sales by the dispensaries to patients and caregivers of nearly $780 million.

To date, 25 grower/processors are currently operational in Pennsylvania, and 17 of those are actively shipping to dispensaries, and many grower/processors are expanding at their permitted location.

Currently, 1,950 physicians have registered for the program, more than 1,400 of whom have been approved as practitioners in the program.

The medical marijuana program offers medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and have been certified as having a serious medical condition as defined by the Medical Marijuana Act.

As of March 25, 2020, certain statutory and regulatory provisions have been temporarily suspended in order to implement the following changes in response to the COVID-19 emergency:

  • Allow dispensary employees to provide medical marijuana to a cardholder in their vehicle on the facility’s property;

  • Remove the current cap that limits the number of patients assigned to one caregiver, to allow for more caregivers to assist patients in need;

  • Eliminate background checks for caregiver applications, limited to renewal applications only, in order to expedite the caregiver renewal process;

  • Waive in-person consultations and allow for remote consultations between approved practitioners and medical marijuana patients; and

  • Waive 30-day supply limit for medical marijuana by permitting approved practitioners to notate on the patient’s certification that a 90-day supply may be dispensed.

The statutory and regulatory suspensions will remain in place while the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency is in effect.

For more information about the medical marijuana program, visit www.medicalmarijuana.pa.gov or follow the Department of Health on Facebook and Twitter.

MEDIA CONTACT: Nate Wardle, 717-787-1783 or ra-dhpressoffice@pa.gov

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