How Can The Pennsylvania Cannabis Industry Better Respond To Patient Needs?

By: Joy Dunwoodie, VP of Marketing at Maitri and Jenna Parker, VP of Retail Operations at Maitri Medicinals

In just half a decade, the Pennsylvania medical cannabis market is already projected to hit a billion dollars in revenue, but as the industry struggles with growing pains that have resulted in insufficient access, limited supply, and some of the highest prices in the nation, it's the patients in the state who are feeling the pinch. 

A new wave of more knowledgeable and discerning consumers is driving a recent surge in cannabis sales in Pennsylvania. No longer content with settling for whatever is available, these patients are searching for high-quality products and specific strains from trusted brands to best address their medical needs.  

Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Sees Upward Trends

Medical marijuana was legalized in Pennsylvania in 2016, allowing patients suffering from one of a list of medical conditions to access licensed cannabis facilities. The Department of Health reports that over 500,000 patients are currently recorded in their system: about 350,000 of those patients have active certificates. 

Since its inception, the state’s medical-marijuana program has been slowly gaining momentum, building up to a surge last year. Cannabis sales in the state hit $910 million in 2020, with monthly sales doubling during the pandemic from $40 million in January 2020 to $98 million in January 2021 according to Headset. 

Part of this rise in sales may be linked to accessibility. The number of dispensaries in Pennsylvania increased by 33% in 2020 to 114. The state also loosened rules on purchase limits and curbside service. This proliferation of availability has also allowed patients to be choosier when shopping for their medicine. 

What Are PA Medical Cannabis Patients Looking For?

Cannabis flower continues to be the most popular choice among patients in Pennsylvania, and unlike in other legal cannabis markets, flower is increasing in market share in PA, growing from 38% of cannabis sales in 2020 to 45% in 2021. Derived products, like vape pens and edibles, continue to see much less demand from patients in the state. 

Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the effects they need for optimal relief of their symptoms and specific strain names are becoming part of their lexicon while shopping for their medicine. Popular heirloom strains and unique genetics are both sought by consumers willing to shop around for what they want. 

Medical cannabis patients in Pennsylvania are, above everything else, interested in quality. With an understanding that big names and large farms don’t always mean better experiences, many patients look to craft cannabis grown in small batches with greater attention given to ideal growing conditions and techniques. 

Maitri Genetics for the Next Cannabis Consumer  

We know first-hand the impact cannabis can have on those who are suffering; the medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania is a way for us to ease this suffering, while also supporting intervention efforts for the opioid epidemic and helping to improve our surrounding communities through advancement. We started Maitri Genetics to provide a superior consumer journey for patients looking for relief.

Recognizing trends in buying habits toward superior strains, Maitri Genetics meets consumer demand with a diverse lineup of legacy strains like Super Silver Haze and unique genetics like Blue Agave and Twice Baked from Compound Genetics. 

Maitri Genetics is vertically integrated for total control over the cultivation, processing, and retail of our cannabis strains. Proper environment, lighting, and watering allows our strains’ genetics to manifest optimum chemovar expression for the highest quality cannabis flower. Rather than fixating on increasing grams per square foot to maximize profits, as is too often the case in cannabis markets, Maitri Genetics allows each batch to reach its utmost potential without sacrificing output. 

We sell these strains at two locations: Pittsburgh and Uniontown. A third location is in the works for later in 2021. Additionally, Maitri Genetics flower is distributed wholesale to dispensaries throughout the state, bringing our quality products to a wider audience. 

However, the Maitri Genetics experience is much more than just top-quality cannabis flowers. Our locations also offer excellent patient care, education, and guidance to ensure our patrons are getting the right medicine for their needs. Patients are looking for personalized care in their health & wellness journeys. Maitri provides an elevated level of care with patient resources at every stage of their journey. From our educational library and patient stories on our website to our knowledgeable pharmacists and highly trained dispensary associates, Maitri’s goal is to improve every patient’s quality of life. 

The tastes of cannabis patients in Pennsylvania are changing, and consumers are demanding a more refined cannabis experience. From the quality of our flowers to the positive experiences at our retail outlets, Maitri Genetics is focused on exceeding patient expectations to better improve their quality of life. 

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