The menu of options available at medical cannabis dispensaries may soon grow to include “dry leaf and flower,” the green and fragrant herb once sold illicitly in dime bags.
On Monday, the governor’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board met in Harrisburg to consider changes to the program. Since mid-February, six dispensaries have been selling highly processed — and pricey — concentrates, pills and tinctures.
Demand for the products has been extraordinarily strong. Most of the dispensaries sold out of inventory last week. A spokesman for Cresco Yeltrah, the only grower-processor currently shipping medicines, said he expected modest deliveries to dispensaries to resume as soon as Wednesday, weather permitting.
Allowing sales of dry leaf and flower — with such brand names as Death Star and Bubba Berry — would accelerate production. It also would cut the cost to consumers.
“It would be great for patients,” said Charlie Bachtell, co-founder of Cresco Yeltrah. “Of all forms of medical marijuana, flower offers the fastest speed to efficacy and the lowest price point per milligram of active ingredient.”
Of the 29 states that have laws legalizing some form of cannabis, only Pennsylvania and Minnesota currently ban the sale of non-processed forms of marijuana.
Luke Schultz, a patient advocate who serves on the 15-member Advisory Board, said the three committees that comprise the group “all came back with a positive recommendation” to approve sales of dry leaf and flower. The board is slated to review the recommendations on April 9 and forward a report to the Secretary of Health, Rachel Levine, who chairs the group. Then the legislature will vote on whether to accept the recommendations. It’s uncertain when marijuana in its natural state could be for sale at dispensaries.
Pennsylvania law does not allow the sale of a smokable form of marijuana. It does