Pennsylvania's New Cannabis Era: Growers To Sell Directly To Patients, Dispensaries To Grow Their Own Weed

Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro (D) signed Senate Bill 773 last week allowing medical marijuana growers in the state to sell directly to patients. The news comes some six weeks after the Pennsylvania House Health Committee approved it and sent it to the full House.

Two days before the governor signed the measure, the bill was amended and gained final approval in the Senate. Amendments were included to allow cultivation licenses to independent dispensaries, reported Marijuana Moment.

Under the legislation, which was sponsored by Senator Chris Gebhard (R), the state Department of Health will be in charge of establishing a process to allow the state’s 10 independent cannabis grower-processors to apply for a dispensary permit, which would allow them to sell directly to the patients. 

State Representative Kathy L. Rapp (R) expressed reservations about a bill despite voting in favor of it. She criticized the bill for not creating an open market for small businesses, questioned the lack of requirement for dispensaries in underserved areas and raised concerns about potential control by large conglomerates due to short restrictions on change of control transactions, suggesting the need for more extensive debate before it becomes law.

At the moment, only a limited number of license holders can act as dispensaries, which has led to market concentration. “This has now created an unfair system for dispensing products to patients,” Gebhard wrote in a memo last year. “The most evenhanded solution to this problem would be to issue two permits to all the independent Pennsylvania-based growers/processors who do not currently have one. This will create a free and fair market and will allow these businesses to operate on the same playing field as their competitors.” 

According to last months’ fiscal note, this reform is projected to bring around $2 million in revenue from application and permit fees.

See Also: Raising Arizona And Beyond: Florida's Bold Move In America's Medical Cannabis Market

Photo: Courtesy of Alesia Kozik via Pexels

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Posted In: CannabisNewsMarketsChris GebhardJosh Shapiromedical marijuana growers PennsylvaniaPennsylvania cannabisPennsylvania medical marijuana
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