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Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Program Off to Rough Start

Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Program Off to Rough Start

Flickr / Philip Steffan / CC BY 2.0

The Pennsylvania medical cannabis program had a rough start as retail sales began on Feb. 15, 2018. The opening weekend was marked by long lines and short supply as Cresco Yeltrah was the only medical cannabis supplier able to provide products to dispensaries during the state’s first week of sales.

Prices for medical cannabis were high and varied depending on which dispensary the patient visited, leading many to have sticker shock. For example, according to Philly.com, a vape pen loaded with THC was selling for $25 at TerraVida Holistic Centers in Sellersville, yet the same pen cost $45 at Keystone Shops in Devon.

Despite the rough start, April Hutcheson, a Department of Health spokesperson, told Philly.com that the launch had for the most part gone “as hoped,” with more than 1,700 patients buying medical cannabis from dispensaries during the first week of sales.

“We’ve been working to get medicines to patients as quickly as we can,” Hutcheson said. “To see that come to fruition is a big win for the moms with sick children and all the patients who needed this medication.”

On Feb. 22, Gov. Tom Wolf announced that Department of Health had approved AGRiMED Industries to commence its medical cannabis cultivation and processing operation, giving the state a total of 11 operational growers/processors.

“Each week, we are making great strides in expanding our network where patients can get medical marijuana,” Wolf said in a press release. “The approval of the eleventh grower/processor is another positive step forward.”

While another grower joining the Pennsylvania medical cannabis program is great news for the Keystone State, patients seeking more immediate relief can look forward to Standard Farms and Terrapin Care Station having medical cannabis products ready to ship to dispensaries by the middle of March, as reported by Philly.com.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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