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Welcome to "Mike's Memo," an update on what's happening in the 48th Legislative District, the State Capitol, and the progress of my legislative priorities. If you haven't done so already, please take a few moments to visit my website at www.senatorfolmer.com to learn more about issues that may affect you and your family.

Week of January 2, 2017

Pennsylvania’s Incoming State Senators
On January 3, 2017, the newly elected Senators will be sworn in.
Senator-elect John DiSanto: 15th Senatorial District – Dauphin (part) and Perry Counties
Senator-elect Wayne Langerholc: 35th Senatorial District – Bedford, Cambria and Clearfield (part) Counties – http://www.senatorlangerholc.com/
Senator-elect Daniel Laughlin: 4th Senatorial District – Erie (part) County – http://www.senatorlaughlin.com/
Senator-elect Scott Martin: 13th Senatorial District – Lancaster (part) County – http://www.senatorscottmartinpa.com/
Senator-elect Mike Regan: 31st Senatorial District – Cumberland (part) and York (part) Counties
Senator-elect Sharif Street: 3rd Senatorial District – Philadelphia (part) County

U.S. Small Business Administration Offers Free Online Courses
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers free online courses in starting and managing a business, financing, marketing and more on the online learning center.

Network of Care for Veterans, Service Members and Families
A new website is now available to help veterans, military members and their families find services and benefits available by state and county. The Network of Care is a one-stop shop for a variety of important information relating to local, state and national social services. Click “Select a Site” and “Pennsylvania” to find services by county.

Applications for Medical Marijuana Grower/Processors and Dispensaries
PA Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy announced the applications for medical marijuana grower/processors and dispensaries will be available January 17th. Permit applications will be accepted from February 20th to March 20th. According to Secretary Murphy, “In the first phase of the program, there will be up to 12 permits issued for grower/processors across Pennsylvania’s six medical marijuana regions, and up to 27 permits issued for dispensaries. The decision for which counties will be issued permits in this first phase was determined by using the department’s medical data, as well as comments from more than 5,000 patients and nearly 900 potential grower/processors and dispensary applicants.” Questions about the Medical Marijuana Program can be emailed to RA-DHMedMarijuana@pa.gov, and further information is available on DOH’s website.

Industrial Hemp Pilot Research Program Cost-Sharing Program
PA Department of Agriculture (PDA) Secretary Russell Redding announced a cost-sharing program for the 2017 industrial hemp research growing season. Under the program, PDA will award $1,000 to hemp research program permit recipients to off-set administrative costs. Applications will be available as early as spring 2017 through the PDA’s Bureau of Market Development. Researchers who successfully completed a PDA approved permitted hemp research project are eligible to apply, as long as the researcher has submitted a final report. Funding for the cost share comes from remaining dollars in PDA’s Agricultural Research appropriation and availability in future years depends on funding.

Under the Industrial Hemp Pilot Research Program guidelines released on December 1st, a maximum of 30 projects of five acres each will be selected for the 2017 growing season. PDA will select projects based on their application and quality of the research proposal, and will only approve products or uses that would use hemp fiber, seed or oil derived from seed for industrial purposes. The deadline to apply for the 2017 PDA Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program is January 6, 2017. Applications will be reviewed, and those applicants who are tentatively approved for research projects will be notified by February 17, 2017.


Contact Information
Please feel free to contact me at any time on state-related issues that are of concern to you. I may be reached through my website or my Lebanon or Harrisburg offices.

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