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Now hiring: State’s marijuana bureau needs director

Bureau, seeking a director, would be under Pa. Department of Health

A medical marijuana bureau is being set up to operate inside the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health, in the midst of organizing the state’s first medical marijuana program, is establishing a Bureau of Medical Marijuana.

The bureau is being created to build and oversee the medical marijuana program, enabled by a law signed by Gov. Tom Wolf on April 17.

Hiring a director is the department’s first step in establishing the bureau, with up to 30 positions to follow, according to Donna Keister, who is a human resources analyst in the state’s recruitment department.

The bureau’s director will report to the executive deputy secretary for the health department, and will supervise staff, according to a job listing posted by the state on Friday.

The bureau’s role will include developing how patients and caregivers will be certified to access medical marijuana, and how businesses will register to grow, process and dispense the medication across the state.

Keister confirmed that hiring for the position opened on Friday and will close on May 20.

It would be helpful if candidates have knowledge of the medical marijuana industry and at least 10 years of management experience, Keister said.

Additional skill requirements in the job listing include experience in developing government regulations and working in health policy, as well as working with diverse communities such as medical, academic, law enforcement and government.

The posted salary for the position ranges from $76,000 to $116,000, depending on the selected candidate’s experience.

The Department has six months to complete the medical marijuana program’s regulations, and it is currently meeting with people such as medical professionals and consumer groups to do so.

After that, the next deadline is predicted to be in January 2017.

At that time, business applications to register as growers, processors and dispensers of medical marijuana could be due.

Bussiness networking opportunity this week

Businesses interested in the cannabis industry are invited by the Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Society to a networking event on Thursday in Harrisburg.

The Society is hosting a medical cannabis industry networking event on May 12 at 5:30 p.m. It will take place at Der Harrisburg Maennerchor at 221 North St.Ttickets can be purchased at the door for $15, according to a news release.

“We are excited to give individuals the opportunity to meet and network as the medical cannabis industry literally ‘takes root’ here in the Commonwealth,” said Patrick Nightingale, executive director of the society. “We have been privileged to participate in a number of informational forums and conferences, and it is clear that people are both excited about the potential growth of the medical cannabis industry and in need of opportunities to meet and network with others who have similar interests and goals.”

Lenay Ruhl

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