Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania: Beware the Scam Artists

MarijuanaPennsylvania’s Act 16 is probably the most rigidly regulated medical marijuana law in the nation. This is medicine, and the State is treating medicinal marijuana as they would any other pharmaceutical product.

Strict guidelines in both the production and sale of medicinal marijuana, combined with a very highly regulated license application process, make entering the medicinal marijuana business an extremely complicated endeavor for applicants.

Add to that questions regarding banking, insurance, transportation, security, employment requirements, federal law and so forth, and it’s no wonder people entering the field need professional consultation to make certain they are dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s correctly.

Unfortunately, this has led to more than a few scam artists taking advantage of the situation.

In one instance, we came across a doctor who claimed that for a fee, he could help patients obtain medicinal marijuana in Pennsylvania. That is patently false.

Pennsylvania has required physicians to take a four hour course in order to prescribe medicinal marijuana. This course has yet to be finalized by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, so it is impossible for any physician to claim they can, at this time, make any recommendations for patients at all.

Medicinal Marijuana Consultants are also beginning to pop up, claiming to be able to help people during the application process to open a grow or a dispensary. Some of them are absolutely legitimate. They are staffed by lawyers, accounting and business professionals.

Others, not so much.

My legal assistant has fielded several calls from people fishing for information on how to handle the application process. In one case, the person calling never mentioned they were a consultant, and tried to get us to show them how to do it. In essence, they were pretending to be an applicant when they were actually claiming to be a consultant, charging people a fee and trying to get us to do the leg work for them.

We at PKN Law are available to answer your questions and offer competent guidance  to assist in this process. We are centered on four attorneys who have unimpeachable reputations and long-standing ties to the community. We have practical experience in the fields of criminal, business and real estate law– all integral parts of the application process.

So if you or someone you know is serious about entering the business of medicinal marijuana, we can certainly help sort out the complicated process of obtaining a license and setting up either a professional grow operation or a retail dispensary.

And as always, whenever you are considering contracting with a consultant, do some research first. The process is already expensive enough without throwing away money on someone who has to call us anyway.




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