Pennsylvania Names Licenses for State’s First Growers


The State Announces Awarding a Dozen Licenses for Cultivation/Processing



By J.J. McCoy, Senior Managing Editor for New Frontier Data

Pennsylvania health officials today announced 12 licensees to cultivate medical cannabis in growing facilities throughout the state.

Among the winners identified by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, with their respective application scoring totals, are:

  • AES Compassionate Care (Franklin County) – 722.21
  • AgriMed Industries of Pennsylvania (Greene County) – 790.44
  • Cresco Yeltrah (Jefferson County) – 734.13
  • Franklin Labs (Berks County) – 726.56
  • GTI Pennsylvania (Montour County) – 735.85
  • Holistic Farms (Lawrence County) – 741.69
  • Ilera Healthcare (Fulton County) – 744.64
  • Pennsylvania Medical Solutions (Lackawanna County) – 749.57
  • Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania (Berks County) – 729.17
  • PurePenn (Allegheny County) – 756.07
  • Standard Farms (Luzerne County) – 753.27
  • Terrapin Investment Fund (Clinton County) – 701.22

Each licensee is required to begin growing in six months. Next week, the state will announce the winners of 27 dispensary permits (allowed three operational licenses apiece, for a total of 81 locations statewide). All the cannabis products sold must be produced within Pennsylvania, by the licensed growers who will be allowed to sell to any of the state-sanctioned dispensaries.

Among the 26 states where legal cannabis is grown, Pennsylvania joins Oregon not to have an in-state residency requirement. The state review board was under mandate to give significant weight to minorities represented among each company’s executives and managers. The licenses remain contingent on as-yet to be completed criminal background checks on the companies’ principles and employees; any such red flag reported could jeopardize a license awarded today.

As detailed in New Frontier Data’s “The Cannabis Industry Annual Report: 2017 Legal Marijuana Outlook”, now available, Pennsylvania is poised to become one of the nation’s largest medical cannabis markets: Through the compound annual rate (CAGR) described in the report, by 2025 Pennsylvania will account for 5% of all U.S. legal cannabis sales.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “the application process has already proved lucrative for the state. About 177 aspiring growers paid a nonrefundable $10,000 application fee — or a total of $1.7 million — to get their foot in the door. The aspirants also had to plunk down a $200,000 deposit —refundable only to the losers — and show they had access to at least $2 million in additional capital.”

Each applicant also had to pay for architectural plans, security studies, and zoning appeals. While a second round of permits is expected for issuance in the undetermined future to increase the number of facilities to 25, the state already anticipates lawsuits from the applicants who did not receive licenses.

J.J. McCoy, New Frontier Data Senior Managing Editor

J.J. McCoy

J.J. McCoy is Senior Managing Editor for New Frontier Data. A former staff writer for The Washington Post, he is a career journalist having covered emerging technologies among industries including aviation, satellites, transportation, law enforcement, the Smart Grid and professional sports. He has reported from the White House, the U.S. Senate, three continents and counting.