It’s been two years since Pennsylvania lawmakers approved comprehensive medical cannabis legislation. Senate Bill 3, signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf, established a statewide medical cannabis program and allows citizens that are certified by a doctor to purchase cannabis products from a dispensary.
Beginning Feb. 15, six dispensaries almost daily began selling medical cannabis in the form of concentrates and oils. Pennsylvania’s first days of medical cannabis sales have been limited by a lack of product variety, but overall, business owners are calling the launch a success.
Pennsylvania is the fifth-largest state in the country, home to nearly 13 million people. Considering the state’s extensive list of conditions that can be treated with medical cannabis products – including chronic pain – the patient base could reach 100,000-200,000 once the market matures.
A new analysis from Marijuana Business Daily estimates that Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis market will quickly become one of the largest in the country. According to the cannabis daily news outlet, state dispensary sales could exceed $100 million annually after only a few years in.
Market Key Features:
- A total of 50 dispensary licenses and 25 grower/processor licenses will be issued in Pennsylvania. In Phase 1, Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has issued 27 dispensary licenses and 12 grower/processor licenses. No timeline has been released for the second phase of licensing.
- Each dispensary license holder is authorized to open up to three storefronts, meaning a maximum of 150 dispensaries will be allowed to open throughout the state. Several of the 27 current dispensary license holders have chosen to open multiple locations, with a total of 52 dispensary storefronts expected to open shortly after the program launches.
- Four of the 12 grower/processor licenses and six of the 27 dispensary licenses were granted to out-of-state companies due to the lack of any residency requirements.
- Roughly 21,000 people have begun the process to receive their medical marijuana cards, and more than 2,000 have purchased medical cannabis from a dispensary (March 2018).
- The sale of both flower and edibles are prohibited in Pennsylvania. However, state regulators are considering adding smokable flower to the list of approved cannabis products to help address the shortage.