HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – Regulators say Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program remains on schedule after hundreds of applications poured in from those who want to grow, process and dispense the drug.

Health Secretary Karen Murphy said Wednesday her agency has received more than 500 packages, some containing multiple applications.

Teams are sorting, evaluating and scoring the applications with a goal of issuing permits by the end of June. Licensees will have six months to get up and running.

Murphy says her agency has opened about half of the packets, split evenly between those who want to be growers and processors, and those who want to operate dispensaries.

The department plans to license up to 12 growers and as many as 27 dispensaries.

Officials expect the drug to be available to patients by May 2018.

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