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January 17, 2018

Pennsylvania's first medical marijuana dispensary opens

Business Medical Marijuana
Carroll - NJ Marijuana Dispensary Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Packaged medical marijuana.

The first medical marijuana dispensary in Pennsylvania opened this week in the Lehigh Valley.

Keystone Canna Remedies held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its location in Bethlehem and gave Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine a tour of the facility on Wednesday.

The dispensary will sell medical marijuana to Pennsylvania residents who register with the state's new program once growers begin distribution sometime in the next four months, Gov. Tom Wolf's office said in a statement earlier this month.

"We are one step closer to getting medical marijuana to patients who desperately need it," Levine said at the ceremony.

The move comes two weeks after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Jan. 4 that he would rescind the "Cole Memo," a Barack Obama-era memo that advises U.S. attorneys to take a hands-off approach with legalized state-run medical marijuana programs. 

Wolf vowed to protect the program, which remains on track to be fully implemented this year, in a statement that day.

It remains unclear how the decision might impact Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program, if at all.

Wolf signed the program into law in April 2016. More than 10,000 patients and several hundred physicians have registered to take part.