Today, the Governor of Pennsylvania announced that medical cannabis dispensaries will be allowed to carry and sell dry leaf medical marijuana beginning August 1st. Governor Wolf initially signed the law approving the Medical Marijuana Program back in April of 2016 and has been proactive in licensing growers, processors, and cannabis retailers.
The move to support dry leaf medical marijuana sales will give low income patients a more affordable way to treat their symptoms. Dr. Rachel Levine, the Secretary of Health, notes that, “The dry leaf form of medical marijuana provides a cost-effective option for patients, in addition to the other forms of medication already available at dispensaries.”
Up until now, patients who were issued a medical marijuana ID card were only allowed to purchase cannabis infused products. However Levine warned that the roll out of dry leaf medical marijuana sales will not be done in one foul swoop.
“It’s important to note that not all dispensaries will have this medication on Aug. 1 and patients can visit our website at www.medicalmarijuana.pa.gov to see when their local dispensary will have it available. It’s also important to talk with your doctor or the medical professional at the dispensary to see if the dry leaf form of medical marijuana is an option for you. Dispensaries will continue to have other forms of medical marijuana, such as oils, pills, topicals, etc. available,” remarked Levine.
Currently the State of Pennsylvania will only allow 50 permits to be issued for medical marijuana dispensaries and each dispensary should have no more than three locations. Dry leaf medical marijuana will initially hit the shelves of 16 dispensaries on August 1st, and then an additional 16 dispensaries as of August 8th.
Over 52,000 medical marijuana patients have been obtained their state medical card through the Medical Marijuana Program since 2016. However, patients need to think twice before smoking dry leaf medical marijuana, since vaporization is the only approved means of consumption for the time being.
Dr. Levine advises patients to “remember that the dry leaf form of medical marijuana is available for vaporization only. It is illegal to smoke the medication. Please make sure that when transporting your medication, you keep it in the original container and have your medical marijuana ID card with you.”
All Pennsylvania medical marijuana dispensaries will be required to keep an accurate record of all dry-leaf sales to stay compliant with state regulations. As such, dispensaries should invest in cannabis point of sale software to streamline inventory and sales. Medical marijuana patients should contact their local dispensary to find out if an when they will be carrying dry leaf medical marijuana.