Dry leaf cannabis is coming to Pennsylvania dispensaries following a decision by the state Department of Health, which on Monday approved a move to make whole-plant cannabis flower available to state medical marijuana patients.
“Dry leaf or flower will be sold in Pennsylvania dispensaries in a form that can be vaporized, not smoked, later this summer.”
Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania Health Secretary
Smoking cannabis would still be prohibited under the new rule, which is aimed at allowing patients to vaporize the plant. But while state law prohibits dispensaries from selling products designed to be smoked, patients advocates such as Chris Goldstein have pointed out that cannabis flower sold for vaping could also be smoked.
Still, the law is clear: “Dry leaf or flower will be sold in Pennsylvania dispensaries in a form that can be vaporized, not smoked, later this summer,” Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said in a statement. But in practice, the two forms are indistinguishable, and it’s not clear what measures, if any, the state may take to prevent patients from smoking the plant.
Other changes approved by the Health Department would expand the list of qualifying conditions, eliminate the need for patients to pay for a medical cannabis ID card more than once per year, allow doctors to opt-out of a public list of registered physicians, and require children’s recommendations to be certified by a pediatrician or pediatric specialist.
Only a few states have adopted medical cannabis programs that explicitly forbid the sale of smokable flower. Some that have, such as Minnesota, have struggled to attract patients or move them out of the illicit market. Others, such as