Pa. Health Department reacts after judge temporarily halts marijuana research program

Tony Romeo
May 23, 2018 - 1:31 pm

HARRISBURG, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) -- State officials are studying the implications of a temporary injunction issued by a judge in a case seeking to halt Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana research program. 

In a case brought by numerous parties on the business side, a Commonwealth Court judge agreed that the regulations stemming from the research component of the medical marijuana law “appear to authorize commercial activity not provided for in the Act.” 

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The author of the research provisions, House Republican Kathy Watson of Bucks County, says that’s because the law allows research facilities to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana. She says that’s necessary because protocols required to produce medical cannabis that qualifies for research may not be met by commercial grower/processors and dispensaries.

“I’m sure they’re afraid that patients would naturally gravitate towards that which has been grown, processed and developed – and be part of a data collection – by a medical school,” Watson said.

She says she is “very disappointed” by the injunction. 

A spokeswoman for the state Health Department said in an official statement that the department “will continue to pursue our nation-leading research component” and that the department is evaluating its legal options.