On April 17, 2016, Gov. Tom Wolf signed into law Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program, which is administered by the Department of Health. In the two years following that legislation, the program has become fully operational. More than 30,000 patients have signed up for the program and are now receiving medical marijuana from 12 grower/processors at the 14 dispensaries that have been approved and have opened across the commonwealth. As of April 16, there are nearly 100 providers in Philadelphia County alone that have been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to issue a patient certification for medical marijuana.

The process has not been smooth sailing for all involved, however. The commonwealth approved 27 dispensary permit applications in June 2017. PharmaCann Penn, LLC received one of those dispensary permits. PharmaCann also received a zoning permit from the city of Philadelphia for its proposed activity. But when PharmaCann sought to open its dispensary in Northeast Philadelphia, Simon Property Group, Inc., the owner of an adjacent shopping center, objected to the proposed dispensary, citing a deed restriction that prohibited the PharmaCann property from being used for any “unlawful purpose” or as a “drug store.” Simon Property Group argued that operating a medical marijuana dispensary violated both those restrictions, given that marijuana is still a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

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