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Here Are Pa.’s First Permitted Medical Marijuana Growers

Here Are Pa.'s First Permitted Medical Marijuana Growers

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The Department of Health announced[1] the recipients of the state s first 12 permits for medical marijuana growers this afternoon. Two permits were awarded in each of the state s 12 regions. In the Southeastern region, recipients are Franklin Labs LLC and Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania. Both organizations will operate out of Berks County. Franklin Labs, which has proposed a facility in Reading, owns one of the largest medical cannabis operations in Colorado and is affiliated with Garden State Dispensary, a major medical marijuana producer in New Jersey.

Among Franklin Labs executives is John Hanger, who served as Gov. Tom Wolf s former secretary of Policy and Planning, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The organization s chief security officer, Paul Higdon, worked for the Drug Enforcement Agency and INTERPOL, the world s largest police organization. Little information was immediately available on the other permit recipient, Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania except that the organization is looking to operate out of an industrial park in Sinking Spring and reportedly[2] has branches in Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The Pa. Office of Medical Marijuana received 177 applications for growers/processors, which were reviewed by an evaluation team comprised of members from various commonwealth agencies.

The state will have to inspect and deem the various facilities as operational before permittees will be able to grow and process medical marijuana. John Collins, director of the Pa. Office of Medical Marijuana, said the department is on track to fulfill the Wolf Administration s promise to deliver medical marijuana to patients in 2018.

The state will also issue 27 dispensary permits[3]; those will be announced next week. Additional grower permits will be issued in the future, which will bring the total to 25.

State law[4] allows patients with one or more of 17 qualified medical conditions (including epilepsy, cancer, seizure disorders or multiple sclerosis) to apply for a medical marijuana card.

Here is the full list of permitted medical marijuana growers announced today:

Southeast Region
Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania, LLC
Franklin Labs, LLC

Northeast Region
Pennsylvania Medical Solutions, LLC
Standard Farms, LLC

Southcentral Region
Ilera Healthcare, LLC
AES Compassionate Care, LLC

Northcentral Region
Terrapin Investment Fund 1, LLC
GTI Pennsylvania, LLC

Southwest Region
AGRiMED Industries of PA, LLC
PurePenn, LLC

Northwest Region
Holistic Farms, LLC
Cresco Yeltrah, LLC

Follow @ClaireSasko[5] on Twitter.

References

  1. ^ announced (www.media.pa.gov)
  2. ^ reportedly (www.philly.com)
  3. ^ dispensary permits (www.phillymag.com)
  4. ^ State law (www.phillymag.com)
  5. ^ @ClaireSasko (twitter.com)

Illinois Man Charged With Stomping Kitten to Death

(BELLEVILLE, Ill.) A southern Illinois man accused of stomping a kitten to death because he wasn t allowed to take it on a light rail train has been charged with felony animal cruelty.

The suspect, 23-year-old DeCarlos Johnson-Foston, is jailed on $75,000 bond.

St. Clair County Sheriff s Capt. Bruce Fleshren says Johnson-Foston was at a Belleville MetroLink station Friday with a kitten on his shoulder. A security guard told him the cat would not be allowed on the train.

Fleshren says Johnson-Foston slammed the kitten to the platform and stomped on its head, then walked away and left on a bus.

Police say they tracked him to a bus stop and discovered that he had also stolen a wallet while riding the bus.

Belleville is 15 miles (24 kilometers) southeast of St. Louis.

Search for 7 Navy sailors ends after bodies found on ship

The search for seven U.S. Navy sailors who went missing after their destroyer collided with a container ship off the Japanese coast was called off after several bodies were found Sunday in the ship’s flooded compartments, including sleeping quarters. Navy divers found “a number of” bodies in the USS Fitzgerald, a day after the destroyer collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship four times its size, said Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, the commander of the Navy’s 7th Fleet. Aucoin, speaking at a news conference at the 7th Fleet’s home base in Yokosuka, Japan, wouldn’t say how many bodies were recovered, pending notification of next of kin. He said that much of the crew of about 300 was asleep when the collision happened at 2:20 a.m. Saturday, and that one machinery room and two berthing areas for 116 crew members were severely damaged. Aucoin said the destroyer which returned to Yokosuka on Saturday evening with the help of tug boats was hit on the side and there was a significant impact.

The victims might have been killed by the impact of the collision or drowned in the flooding, said Navy spokesman Lt. Paul Newell, who led the media on a visit to get a firsthand look at the mangled destroyer. Aucoin described the damage and flooding as extensive, including a big puncture under the ship’s waterline, and said the crew had to fight to keep the destroyer afloat.

“The damage was significant,” he said. “This was not a small collision.”

“You can’t see most of the damage the damage is mostly underneath the waterline, and it’s a large gash near the keel of the ship,” Aucoin said. “So the water flow was tremendous, and so there wasn’t a lot of time in those spaces that were open to the sea. And as you can see now, the ship is still listing, so they had to fight the ship to keep it above the surface. It was traumatic.”

The Fitzgerald’s captain, Cmdr. Bryce Benson, was airlifted from the ship’s deck after daybreak Saturday to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka with a head injury. Two other crew members suffered cuts and bruises and were also flown out by helicopter. Aucoin said Benson’s cabin was destroyed. “He is lucky to be alive,” he said.

Aucoin wouldn’t speculate on the cause of the collision, and said he would order a thorough investigation. Conditions were clear at the time of the collision, though the area is particularly busy with sea traffic. The damage to the destroyer suggests that the container ship, the ACX Crystal, might have slammed into it at a high speed. This has raised questions as to whether there was proper communication between the two vessels, particularly given how busy the waters where the collision occurred are.

The waters in the area see as many as 400 ships pass through every day, according to Japan’s coast guard. They are especially congested in the early hours of the day, with ships carrying cargo for early morning delivery in Tokyo. The waters also have fast currents, making it a tricky area that requires experience and skill to navigate. The ACX Crystal weighs 29,060 tons and is 222 meters (730 feet) long, much larger than the 8,315-ton destroyer. The container ship’s left bow was dented and scraped, and it did not appear to have sustained any major structural damage when it was docked in the Tokyo bay late Saturday. But on Sunday, a group of accident investigators from the Japanese transport ministry found damage to the container ship that had been hidden under the waterline when it arrived in Tokyo the previous night. Footage from Japanese broadcaster NHK showed a sharp horizontal cut across the bow area, which looked like a shark’s mouth. Many scratches were also seen in the frontal area.

The container ship was seen making a U-turn before the collision on some ship trackers, a move that has raised questions about what happened. Both Aucoin and the Japanese coast guard, however, said it was too early to determine what led to the collision. The coast guard questioned crew members of the ACX Crystal, and is treating the incident as a case of possible professional negligence, said Masayuki Obara, a regional coast guard official. All of the ACX Crystal’s 20-member Filipino crew were safe, according to Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen K.K., which operates the ship.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a sympathy message to President Donald Trump on Sunday. “We are struck by deep sorrow,” Abe said in the message.

“I express my heartfelt solidarity to America at this difficult time,” he said, praising U.S. servicemen in Japan under the allies’ bilateral security pact.

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Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

Find her work also on APNews at https://www.apnews.com/search/mari%20yamaguchi

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