marijuana

The permits come one year after the legalization of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

Photo: Giovanna Paz / The Daily Pennsylvanian

Philadelphia is now one step closer to authorizing the sale and distribution of medical marijuana.

One year after Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana, Philadelphia’s Department of License and Inspections has created nine zoning permits for the city’s dispensaries and possible grower-processors, according to the Philadelphia Tribune. Eight of the licenses were designated for medical marijuana dispensary zoning and one for medical marijuana growing facility zoning.

This follows an event in Harrisburg on Monday that recognized the individuals and families who advocated for the legalization of medical marijuana, according to Philly Voice. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has projected that its medical marijuana program will launch by 2018.

“We actually have doctors that are going to understand why this is good,” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said during Monday’s event. “We’re going to have medical professionals in hospitals who have done the research and are going to know how this is going to help their patients.”

NBC10 reported that the Pennsylvania Department of Health has been reviewing applications for medical marijuana business licenses but did not provide any details on when it plans on disclosing the number of applications or notifying individuals of their application status.

“It’s important that we take this time to ensure that we are conducting every part of this intake and review process carefully, and according to our regulatory requirements,” the state’s Secretary of Health Karen Murphy told NBC10. “Once that is completed, we will be able to release the number of applications that were received.”

While CBS News reported that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions formed a crime reduction task force two weeks ago to evaluate the current enforcement of marijuana laws by the Department of Justice, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro expressed to NBC10 his support of the state’s emerging medical marijuana program.

“We’ll be overseeing it. Regulating it and ensuring that people handle both the dollars and cents and the marijuana in an appropriate way,” Shapiro told NBC10.

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