Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Market Is Booming

Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Market Is Booming

In 2016, Pennsylvania legalized marijuana for the treatment of serious medical conditions. Since then, their medical marijuana industry has been riding high. According to the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, the market hit $3.4 billion in total sales since 2018 with $2 billion generated by dispensaries. Purchase requires a doctor’s prescription — 633,557 patients and caregivers have signed up so far.

But as it stands, Pennsylvania has not legalized adult-use (recreational) marijuana, and some feel Illinois could provide a roadmap toward legalized recreational use in the state. In January of 2020, recreational cannabis was legalized in Illinois and the state’s total cannabis market more than doubled in the first month. And while predicting how the recreational market will emerge in PA is a murky job, there are some good signs that the process is moving forward. Both Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and his Lt. Governor John Fetterman support the legalization of recreational marijuana, which helps to explain Pennsylvania’s openness to cannabis investors. Already in the first half of 2021, there have been at least a “half-dozen deals worth $438 million to acquire cultivation facilities and retail rights,” in Pennsylvania, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Currently, there is no official difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana, at least in terms of its components. The only distinguishing difference is their legal status from state to state. But according to Nushin Rashidian, co-founder and editor of news service Cannabis Wire, that’s going to change as the industry ages. She believes that in years to come, there will be products tailored to the different uses. “There’s a lot of overlap … but that’s not permanent. In 10, 20 years, bifurcation will happen,” said Rashidian. “There’s going to be much more sophisticated formulations on both sides. It’s a huge, huge, huge field, and I think we’re at the very beginning of it.”

The silver lining for consumers is recreational legalization would lead to more stores, which would mean pot lower prices overall. As sales have boomed in the past six months, the retail price of a gram of medical marijuana fell from $15.67 per gram to $14.53 per gram, according to the Post-Gazette.

Reading next

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Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Board Rejects Multiple Petitions

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