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McKeesport medical marijuana grower to deliver cannabis products April 20

Ben Schmitt
| Tuesday, April 10, 2018, 10:24 a.m.

A McKeesport-based medical marijuana grower and processor said it plans to have products in dispensaries April 20 after a successful first harvest.

“Right now we are processing this robust harvest, and soon patients will have access to superior medical strains that previously were available only in California or outside the U.S.,” PurePenn CEO Gabe Perlow said in a statement Tuesday.

The medical marijuana products, labeled as Moxie by PurePenn, will be available at Solevo Wellness in Squirrel Hill and other dispensaries. Solevo Wellness has experienced shortages , prompting intermittent closures, since opening in February.

“The partnership gives PurePenn access to more than 100 proven cannabis plant strains and genetics, positioning the company as an immediate industry leader in Pennsylvania,” the statement said.

Under state law, patients can apply for a state-issued medical marijuana card if a doctor certifies they have one of 17 medical conditions, including epilepsy, cancer, Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis and seizure disorders.

State Health Department officials said two of 12 licensed growers are up and running and six additional growers, including PurePenn, are expected to deliver cannabis products by the end of the month.

Pittsburgh attorney Patrick Nightingale, who is executive director of the Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Society, said the state needs more growers to begin harvesting.

“Patients are hopeful that with more competition the prices of medical cannabis products will drop and, hopefully, fall below black market prices,” he wrote in an email Tuesday. “Patients need the greatest product selection possible so they can find the right product for their condition.”

Qualified patients with a doctor's recommendation receive a Pennsylvania medical marijuana identification card, allowing the purchase of medical marijuana from an authorized state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary. Dispensaries also can sell equipment, such as vaping devices for liquid forms, to administer medical marijuana.

As of last week, more than 25,000 patients had registered for the medical marijuana program, about 11,000 of whom have been certified by physicians. More than 914 doctors have been registered to participate, of whom 511 have completed the state's four-hour training course required for certification.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed a medical marijuana bill into law in April 2016. Dispensaries opened in February.

Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7991, or via Twitter at @Bencschmitt.

A PurePenn employee harvests plants at its McKeesport location on April 2, 2018..
A PurePenn employee harvests plants at its McKeesport location on April 2, 2018..
PurePenn CEO Gabe Perlow.
PurePenn CEO Gabe Perlow.
Groundbreaking takes place Thursday, July 27, 2017, for PurePenn's facility in McKeesport.
Nate Smallwood | Tribune-Review
Groundbreaking takes place Thursday, July 27, 2017, for PurePenn's facility in McKeesport.
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