PA’s marijuana law allows only the most costly forms of cannabis

Cannabis activist and writer Chris Goldstein is among those unhappy that Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program has only legalized products such as vape-pen cartridges, edible cannabis extracts and topical creams for registered patients, while not-permitting actual straight-up marijuana to be sold.

“From a patient perspective, there was absolutely no good reason to bar seriously ill residents from simply using the plant with a pipe or rolling papers. That was all politics,” Goldstein writes on Philly.com.  The most cost-effective form of marijuana, it will take action by the Department of Health or an amendment to the law.”

Cannabis extraction, now industrialized through massive rosin press machines and pressure ovens, result in products that become far more costly to consumers than dry leaf cannabis for smoking.

“The real trade secret is that while the cannabis industry has been keeping prices high on extract products, the wholesale production costs have been declining. It’s much cheaper to grow for oil than for flower. That means the markup on some regulated medical cannabis products in Pennsylvania could make Martin Shkreli (the villain of EpiPen price gouging) jealous,” writes Goldstein, whose full piece can be read here.

Because no dispensaries can accept medical insurance, patients will be paying unnecessarily exaggerated costs entirely out of pocket. “Prices are declining for patients and consumers in states that operate a free market in cannabis. Underground prices are even going down as quality increases,” writes Goldstein who hopes the state legislature will revisit the medical marijuana law to allow dried cannabis flower for sale.

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