Pennsylvania defends decision on medical marijuana permit

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Pennsylvania health officials are standing by their decision to award a medical marijuana grower’s permit to a company whose affiliate had two ex-executives charged with smuggling a half-million dollars’ worth of the drug across state lines.

Pennsylvania Medical Solutions of Scranton was one of only 12 companies awarded permits last week to grow and process medical marijuana in the state.

Records show it is run by Vireo Health. In February, Minnesota officials charged two ex-employees of Vireo with illegally transporting medical cannabis oil while they worked for the company.

A spokeswoman for the health department tells The Philadelphia Inquirer the charges were filed against individuals who no longer work for the company, not the company itself.

The state is expected to announce awards for 27 more permits by the end of the week.

Industry experts say such permits could be worth millions of dollars.

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Information from: The Philadelphia Inquirer, http://www.inquirer.com

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