By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A company which won a state permit to set up a medical marijuana growing operation in southeastern Pennsylvania now admits the place may be up for sale.

Franklin Labs, which is in the process of setting up a large marijuana growing operation inside a former soda bottling and distribution plant near Reading’s minor league baseball stadium, now admits it really wanted a clinical research permit to study the effective medical uses of marijuana.

In a statement, Franklin Labs says it’s investing $5 million in setting up the Reading operation and vows it will be ready by the end of the year to meet state guidelines.

But, the statement says Franklin is exploring divesting itself of the plant because the research permit guidelines might interfere with the company keeping it.

A Pennsylvania Health Department official tells KYW Newsradio that state law is clear and such permits cannot be transferred or sold.