The challenges of doing business in medical marijuana in PA

Source: Next Pittsburgh

Ray Boyer, a partner with PurePenn, opened a facility in McKeesport to produce pharmaceutical-grade capsules, ointments, tinctures and oils that patients with prescriptions can purchase at licensed dispensaries. Formerly chief financial officer at Bechtel, he decided to open PurePenn partly because it will create jobs in the once thriving, but now economically depressed McKeesport area. Already employing 25 workers, he expects the plant to employ 75 when they’re at full capacity. Their first products will hit the market in April.

Boyer was one of the panelists of local business people convened by the Pittsburgh Entrepreneurs Forum last week. With Pennsylvania legalizing marijuana for medical uses,  the goal was to help local business people understand the law, its implications, opportunities and risks.

Their clear message? Although the substance is now legal in the Commonwealth, it remains illegal according to Federal law. That means higher risk for would-be entrepreneurs entering the trade.

Panelist John Fetterman, mayor of Braddock, said the market for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is anticipated to be $150 million in its first year.

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Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Already Running Out

Source: CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It holds the promise of relief for tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians, and the new dispensary in Squirrel Hill is ready to provide it, but the supply of medical marijuana is limited.

“Right now, there’s a little hiccup in the road, bump in the road, and we’re just dealing with it,” said Sam Britz, the operator of Solevo Wellness.

In its first week, 500 patients have visited Solevo, but while Britz says nearly all of all those patients have gotten some medical marijuana, many haven’t gotten the quantity or variety that they want.

“It’s a little frustrating. It’s frustrating for the patients, too. But they understand,” said Britz.

While two dispensaries have opened up in our region, there’s only one grower supplying them, and that’s not enough to meet the demand.

Under the new state law, the dispensaries can’t get supplies from out of state, so they must wait on licensed, in-state grower-processors like PurePenn in McKeepsort, which only began growing pot in December.

“We’re moving along at the pace we always indicated we would move at,” said Gabe Perlow, of PurePenn.

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How will a planned medical-marijuana facility in McKeesport benefit those who live there?

Source: Pittsburgh City Paper

McKeesport Mayor Mike Cherepko didn’t know much about medicinal cannabis when he was first approached by a company looking to build a growing facility in his community. But after learning about the health-care benefits of the marijuana plant, he now considers himself an advocate for its use as medicine.

“It gave me the opportunity to educate myself about medicinal cannabis,” Cherepko says. “When you hear the success stories [and] the tremendous impact it can have on individuals with certain disabilities and illnesses, it’s unbelievable. 

“It’s heartwarming to see just how some of these people’s lives have changed once they were able to have access to medicinal cannabis.”

Last month, the company that first approached Cherepko, PurePenn LLC, was approved by the Pennsylvania regulators to build the medical-marijuana-growing operation in McKeesport. PurePenn was one of 12 grower/processors selected June 20 to receive a permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Since then, the department has granted 27 permits for medical-marijuana dispensaries.

“We’re really excited here in the city to be on the forefront of this new and upcoming industry,” says Cherepko, “and to be part of the positive impact it’s going to have on health care here in the state of Pennsylvania.” 

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PurePenn licensed to grow, process medical marijuana in McKeesport

Source: Post Gazette

Gabriel Perlow was picking up his daughter from summer camp while listening to the State Department of Health news conference on his phone, all to determine whether his new company — PurePenn LLC — would receive a license to grow and process medical marijuana in McKeesport.

“They didn’t say at the news conference, but then my phone blew up with congratulations,“ he said, describing how he learned that PurePenn will join AgriMed Industries of PA LLC in Carmichaels, Greene County, as the only two licensed medical marijuana growers in the southwestern district, one of six districts in the state.  

“I’m ecstatic. Our whole team is ecstatic, and the whole team is looking forward to being operational within six months” as required by State Department of Health, said Mr. Perlow...

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Pennsylvania wades through hundreds of Medical Marijuana Permit Applications

Source: Trib Live

Pennsylvania's green rush into the medical marijuana world is well under way as the state continues to wade through hundreds of applications for about three dozen grower and dispensary permits.

Gabe Perlow of Pittsburgh is among the applicants. He created PurePenn LLC with the hope of bringing a medical marijuana cultivation and processing plant to a 5-acre plot at the RIDC Industrial Center of McKeesport.

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Local Entrepreneur looking to process Medical Marijuana

Source: The Jewish Chronicle

Gabe Perlow has high hopes for his new company, PurePenn LLC.

Perlow, former general counsel at Pittsburgh-based McKnight Realty Partners, is also CEO of PurePenn, a company he formed with the intention of bringing a medical marijuana processing plant to McKeesport. 

PurePenn applied last month to the Pennsylvania Department of Health for one of just 12 permits which will be awarded to marijuana processing and distribution facilities. Only two of those permits will be issued in Southwest Pennsylvania.

Read more: The Jewish Chronicle - Local entrepreneur looking to process medical marijuana 


NEXT Up: On the Move with Medical Marijuana Maven Gabe Perlow

Source: Next Pittsburgh

Could medical marijuana be the Mon Valley’s new steel? If PurePenn CEO Gabe Perlow receives approval from the state in June, his company could be one of the region’s first medical cannabis processing facilities. Pennsylvania passed its Act 16 medical cannabis law last April, and in February, McKeesport approved PurePenn’s proposal to transform a vacant industrial site into a facility for producing pharmaceutical-grade capsules, ointments, tinctures and oils. Inspired by family and friends’ health struggles, Perlow—a lawyer from Squirrel Hill—established PurePenn in 2016 as a patient-centered company that delivers safe and effective therapeutic cannabis products to relieve pain, nausea, anxiety and other serious medical conditions.

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PurePenn details plans to be part of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana industry

PurePenn details plans to be part of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana industry

The seed is planted, the state’s medical marijuana industry soon will sprout, and if all goes well for McKeesport, PurePenn LLC will grow into solid stalk for the upstart industry.

Plant metaphors aside, owners of Downtown-based PurePenn said their team has expertise, among other important advantages, in the medical marijuana business in other states...

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

McKeesport Approves Medical Marijuana Venture

Published by CBS Pittsburgh

Hard times hit McKeesport when the mills closed, but now the struggling Mon Valley city may be trading in steel for marijuana.

On Friday, the city planning commission approved a proposal to turn a vacant industrial site on the Mon into a growing and processing site for medical marijuana.

The state is accepting applications from potential growers and distributors, and the project – by a group called PurePenn – must get local approvals first.

“I grew up here. I want to see the economic development here. I think we can bring in 25 to 50 jobs,” said Ray Boyer, of PurePenn...

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