After raking in $1.7 Million in non-refundable application fees from 177 companies for the State of Pennsylvania, the Department of Health has awarded 12 licenses for grow operations throughout the state. This is the first round of cannabis business licenses in the state.
Next week, results for the dispensary applications will be released. Twenty-seven (27) dispensary licenses are anticipated to be awarded in this round.
The 12 cultivation licenses were made available in each of 6 geographical regions - 2 licenses per region. Interestingly the state's largest city - Philadelphia - was shut out for grow operations.
The cultivation license decision caused a bit of a stir, as one of the winners was led by a former senior state government official. However the DOH quickly replied its procedures were designed to be objective and allow no favoritism.
According to Philly.com, the winner in question, John Hanger, had served as former Governor Wolf's policy chief, in addition to previously serving as secretary of Department of Environmental Protection under Gov. Rendell, and he ran for governor himself on a platform to legalize cannabis.
Hanger and his applicant team seem quite qualified to have won the license fair and square. He is chairman of the board of Franklin Labs LLC, which is already operating in Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey, where it was the highest scorer to get a license.
The Round 1 Pennsylvania Cannabis Cultivation permit winners are:
— Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania LLC, Sinking Spring, Berks County.
— Franklin Labs LLC, Reading, Berks County.
— Pennsylvania Medical Solutions LLC, Scranton, Lackawanna County.
— Standard Farms LLC, White Haven, Luzerne County.
— Ilera Healthcare LLC, Waterfall, Fulton County.
— AES Compassionate Care LLC, Chambersburg, Franklin County.
— Terrapin Investment Fund 1 LLC, Jersey Shore, Clinton County.
— GTI Pennsylvania LLC, Danville, Montour County.
— AGRiMED Industries of PA LLC, Carmichaels, Greene County.
— PurePenn LLC, McKeesport, Allegheny County.
— Holistic Farms LLC, New Castle, Lawrence County.
— Cresco Yeltrah LLC, Brookville, Jefferson County.
Image source: Vidiani.com (map) and the PA Department of Health Twitter feed.