JEFFERSON CO., Pa. (EYT) – An ongoing medical marijuana “drought” in Pennsylvania may begin affecting some area dispensaries.
According to Cannabis News Wire, multiple dispensary owners from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh are reporting issues with an ongoing shortage of dried marijuana flower.
Kody Miller, general manager for Herbology Dispensary in Brookville, told exploreJeffersonPA.com that while they have not received any complaints about a lack of flower or products in stock, in some of the busier dispensaries, it is becoming an issue.
“The reasoning for this ‘shortage’ is when the program first started a couple of years ago, only nine cultivators were able to grow for the 10-15 amount of first starting dispensaries,” Miller explained in an e-mail.
“Since then, we have seen a growth not only in the number of dispensaries in Pennsylvania, but also a growth in patients receiving medical marijuana.
“The problem then lies in that the same amount of cultivators are still trying to produce for more than triple the amount of dispensaries and patients since when the program first started.”
The number of patients has certainly increased, going from 70,128 at the start of 2019 to nearly 161,273 as of the end of August following the addition of anxiety disorders and Tourette’s syndrome to the list of conditions that can qualify people to obtain legal medical marijuana in July.
Miller also noted that another factor contributing to the flower shortage is the time it takes to grow a mature plant.
“This plant is sensitive and requires at least three to four months of growth until harvested, and an additional month or so for the extraction, curing and packaging process.”
According to Miller, the one positive side is that more cultivators are joining the market and the nine original cultivators are expanding.
Cannabis News Wire breaks down the primary reasons for the shortage into five main points: an increase in dispensaries; an increase in registered patients; patients beginning to request more flower than other products; permitted cultivators choosing not to grow; and humidity taking a negative toll on crops this year.
Dry leaf forms of marijuana were first approved by State Health Secretary Rachel Levine for medical cannabis therapies in April of 2018 on the recommendation of the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board.
It has become a popular alternative to pills, cartridges, creams and other products in part because it requires much less processing, and comes at a lower price.
Read more: https://www.explorejeffersonpa.com/.