A 21-year-old Dalton Hunsberger, who has Perkasie man’s epilepsy, uses medical marijuana to treat his seizures, nausea, and anxiety. However, according to his mother, it has been a challenge accessing the medicine for the past two months, because it sells out the minute it gets to the dispensaries.
According to several dispensary owners, Pennsylvania is on the brink of medical marijuana drought, which has prompted dispensaries to ration marijuana sales. A dispensary in Fishtown, Restore Integrative Health Care, has issued a limit of 7g limit per patient every day, 14g limit per day at Keystone in South Philadelphia and 28g in TerraVida Holistic Centers in Abington caps.
According to the CEO of Keystone Dispensaries, rationing was instituted so that more people could get access to medicine. The Department of Health in Pennsylvania is responsible for overseeing and regulating marijuana markets. Nate Wardle, the spokesperson of the department of health, say that Cannabis shortage is due to the ever-growing state medical marijuana program.
In Pennsylvania, there 60 plus cannabis retail shops which cater to more than 200,000 registered patients. According to the patients and patients’ advocates, the Department of Health which regulates marijuana markets is to blame for not anticipating the rise in demand; and for not ensuring that there are enough marijuana growers to meet the patients’ needs.
According to industry observers, medical marijuana drought is not only as a result of lack of expertise in regulating the fast-growing industry by state officials but also because;
- Some Marijuana Growers are not Cultivation the Crop
The number of growers in the state stays constant, while the number of patients and dispensaries continues to increase. In a state where there should 25 medical marijuana growers, only ten growers are active two years after attaining grower permits.
Pennsylvania awarded the first 12 permits in June to farmers, but only a few were qualified to proceed as some lacked the expertise while others did not have the financial capability to maintain plant growth.
Agrimed LLC was among the first to get the permit; however, the state has no plan of renewing the license because the company has not supplied the state with marijuana citing theft of the marijuana plants. Another company was Readings Franklin Lab who immediately after getting the permit tried to flip it for $20 million. Currently, the two companies are controlled by Harvest Inc. of Arizona, a beleaguered marijuana company.
The second round of permits was issued in July 2018, where the awarded companies promised to start supplying in a period of six months. However, none of them has shipped marijuana in over a year.
- Increased Number of Dispensaries
The number of approved dispensaries continues to skyrocket from the initial 43 at the beginning of the year to the present 67 of which 60 are fully operational. All dispensaries must be stocked with all the medicines from buds, vapes, oils, and concentrates. The dispensary owners are struggling to maintain inventory due to the increased competition.
- Increased Number of Registered Patients
When medical marijuana was approved, there were 17 qualifying conditions, but currently, there are 23 conditions. Among the qualifying conditions added are anxiety, opioid-use disorder, and Tourette’s syndrome. More than 3,000 patients registered when anxiety was approved. This put pressure on the existing supply of medicine.
- Patients are Ordering More Buds Instead of Vapes
Patients are ordering buds since they are cheaper than vapes. More so, because vaping has been linked to a lung ailment, even those who could afford the vape products are switching to dry flower, a reality that has caused a supply shortage.
- Presence of Mold, Microbial Spoilage that Results in no Harvest
In the months of July and August, Pennsylvania experienced a sudden onset of humidity which affected their crop significantly, resulting in little or no product to take to the market due to the damage by mold.
Experts believe that experienced marijuana industry players like Sproutly Canada Inc. (CSE: SPR) (OTCQB: SRUTF) (FRA: 38G) and The Supreme Cannabis Company Inc. (TSX.V: FIRE) (OTCQX: SPRWF) may have solutions to the medical marijuana production challenges being faced in Pennsylvania and the players there could do well to consult.
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
To receive instant SMS alerts, text CANNABIS to 21000 (U.S. Mobile Phones Only)
For more information please visit https://www.CNW420.com
Do you have a questions or are you interested in working with CNW420? Ask our Editor