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Western PA's Medical Marijuana Growers & Processors Expect To Make December Deadline, But Only Just

Gene J. Puskar
AP Photo
Michael Cole of Clairton, Pa., holds a Time magazine while waiting on line in downtown McKeesport, Pa., to attend a Medical Marijuana Job Fair, Thursday, July 27, 2017.

Twelve Pennsylvania medical marijuana growers and processors were licensed by the state in June. Since then, two have been approved to start production -- Cresco Yeltrah in Jefferson County and Standard Farms in Luzerne County.


The three other growers and processors, all in western Pennsylvania, still have work to do before the state’s December 20 approval deadline.


AGRiMED Industries in Greene County is still setting up its facility and hiring staff, said COO Matt Levine.


“Construction is well underway, and we’re looking to be complete next month,” Levine said. “We should be able to get product in the hands of patients if things go timely from here in March or April of next year.”


Levine says AGRiMED is looking forward to hiring local residents to join the company’s team.


“We’re doing all we can in the local area to give back to Greene County and southwest Pennsylvania, who have really supported AGRiMED to this point,” Levine said.


Keith Morgan, partner at Holistic Farms in Lawrence County, said the company is still in the process of renovating warehouse space in New Castle, about an hour north of Pittsburgh, that will be used to grow and process cannabis.


“We have comprehensive plans to completely renovate the entire building,” Morgan said.


Holistic Farms plans to split the medical marijuana grow into two phases, he said, and he's hoping 1,200 square feet will be ready for production in mid-to-late December.


“We’ll begin the initial plant and growing then,” Morgan said.


Gabe Perlow, CEO of PurePenn in McKeesport, said the company is in the final step of assembling its modular facility.


"We'll be putting our finishing touches on the interior until December 20," Perlow said. "We're not going to rush."


Perlow said PurePenn will hire 10-15 people in the next few months, with preference given to McKeesport and Mon Valley residents, veterans and minorities.


AGRiMED and Holistic Farms also expect to be deemed operational ahead of the state’s December 20 deadline.


The state recently released a list of 109 Pennsylvania physicians who are approved to prescribe medical marijuana to patients. There are 10 in Allegheny County.