Round two: Prospective medical marijuana cultivators take another shot

Round two: Prospective medical marijuana cultivators take another shot

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Cresco Labs In 32 days, applicants for the second — and most likely final — round of permits to grow medical marijuana in Pennsylvania must have their applications completed and mailed to the state Department of Health . This is what has to happen before then: By the May 17 deadline, they must come up with a non-refundable $10,000 application fee, a refundable permit fee of $200,000 and proof of $2 million in capital, $500,000 of which must be on deposit. While there’s no set acreage minimum, a facility that can handle mass agricultural production is probably going to need a minimum 20,000 square feet of land. The applicants will need to show they have a parcel in hand, or at least on contingency. They shouldn’t expect landlords will refund deposits used to hold the property for them, just in case they get a permit. They also must have all necessary zoning approvals and a diversity plan and, if successful, be operational in six months. “It’s a huge undertaking,” said Gabe Perlow, CEO of PurePenn , which picked up one of the coveted 12 cultivation permits last year. Its 23,000-square-foot McKeesport facility made a first harvest last week. Given the state’s six-week timeline for applying, he said, repeat applicants who have already organized their financing and secured zoning approvals have a clear advantage. Many of those unsuccessful applicants also took advantage of a post-selection debriefing by state officials that detailed where their application might be strengthened next time. In other words, expect stronger proposals from everyone this time around. “That alone would scare me,” Mr. Perlow said. In the first round, he explained, there were many unknowns regarding what the state was looking for, making it easier for groups to set themselves apart. “Now the playing field is really […]

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