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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