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Allegheny County company receives medical marijuana permit

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has issued the first 12 permits to grow and process medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, including two in the Pittsburgh region.

PurePenn LLC in McKeesport is among the first to receive the permit in Pennsylvania. The owner said the company plans to start construction immediately. Agrimed LLC, near Carmichaels in Greene County, was also granted a permit.


was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf on April 17 and is expected to be implemented by early 2018.



When completed, state officials said it will offer medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under a physician’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by Act 16.

RELATED: What are the 17 serious medical conditions under the law?

State Sen. Jim Brewster, a Democrat from Allegheny and Westmoreland counties, issued the following statement with regard to the McKeesport site, which is located on five-acres of property on Industry Road in the city:

“The approval of the permit for a medical marijuana grower in McKeesport is excellent news.  Medical marijuana will help those who suffer from debilitating pain and serious medical conditions.  Plus, the new permit will bring jobs and economic development to the region. 
“The new industry in the city will attract other businesses who will want to locate near the facility and create spin-off businesses that will generate additional work for local residents.  The entire economy of the region will be improved.  This is another large step in the rebuilding of the city and region.  It is certainly good news for the city and the area as a whole.”

Gabe Perlow, of Pure Penn LLC, said he looks forward to bringing jobs to the community when they open up in the RIDC industrial center of McKeesport.

"We are going to have employees specifically on (the) cultivation side and on lab work to create the extract oils that we are going to sell throughout Pennsylvania," Perlow said.


McKeesport Mayor Michael Cherepko said he was initially skeptical of medical marijuana, but said he is now proud to bring it to McKeesport and be at the forefront of a new industry, which he believes will help patients in need.

"You really need to take the time out and educate yourself," Cherepko said. "It's another way to help in the medical care of the people of Pennsylvania."

The Office of Medical Marijuana received 457 total applications -- 177 for growers/processors; and 280 for dispensaries. The 12 permits were issued to the following:

Southeast Region

  • Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania, LLC
  • Franklin Labs, LLC

Northeast Region

  • Pennsylvania Medical Solutions, LLC
  • Standard Farms, LLC

Southcentral Region

  • Ilera Healthcare, LLC
  • AES Compassionate Care, LLC

Northcentral Region

  • Terrapin Investment Fund 1, LLC
  • GTI Pennsylvania, LLC

Southwest Region

  • AGRiMED Industries of PA, LLC
  • PurePenn, LLC

Northwest Region

  • Holistic Farms, LLC
  • Cresco Yeltrah, LLC

John Collins, the director of the Office of Medical Marijuana, said the applications were reviewed by a team made up of people from across commonwealth agencies.

Collins said the next step for permit holders will be to "ramp up their operations so they can prepare to grow medical marijuana."  The companies have six months to become operational before they are inspected.

He said officials sill perform a series of site inspections before the locations can be certified as operational. After that, permittees can start growing and processing medical marijuana.

Since April, when the governor signed the medical marijuana program into law, the Department of Health says it has:

  • Completed the Safe Harbor temporary guidelines and Safe Harbor Letter application process, as well as approved 271 applications;
  • Completed temporary regulations for growers/processors, dispensaries, laboratories and physicians which have been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin;
  • Released Phase One permit applications for grower/processors and dispensaries;
  • Developed the Medical Marijuana Physician Workgroup;
  • Drafted temporary regulations for practitioners to participate in the program; and
  • Selected the woman-owned company MJ Freeway to implement a seed-to-sale electronic tracking system.

Stay with Channel 11 News and for continuing coverage as details become available.