A 3-day world medical cannabis conference opened at the Convention Center on Thursday, just a couple months after Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law kicked in.
So how’s the start-up going?
“Each state kind of has some pitfalls,” Arizona-based medical marijuana consultant Sara Gullickson of Dispensary Permits told KDKA money editor Jon Delano. “While the government has done an amazing job and a lot of people that are opening their dispensaries and cultivation centers are doing a great job as well, six months is just a really unrealistic time to bring product to market and service patients.”
Six months from seeds to medicine has been challenging, says Gullickson.
When Solevo Wellness opened its dispensary in Squirrel Hill, it was supplied by only one grower.
That’s now up to four.
“Next week, out of all the products we could possibly have, we’ll probably have about 60, 70 percent of them,” said Samuel Britz of Soleva. “So are we 100 percent there? No, but we can work around them with the products we have.”
On exhibit in the Convention Center were all kinds of new ideas to help the fledgling industry — like a grow lamp that triples the speed marijuana can be grown.
State law limits medical marijuana to oils, pills, and the like, but this week the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board recommended the sale of the cannabis flower in dry form, which could be smoked by patients.
For medical marijuana patients, the key is getting the right medicine that will deal with the specific ailment.
And for some patients, it’s smoking the flower of cannabis that provides the greatest relief.
Britz at Solevo says many of his local patients ask for it.
“Twenty, thirty percent of the people who come in would like to have flower. Maybe mix it with something else too, but a lot of people really like — it’s really going to be good,” noted Britz.
One benefit for many — it will bring down both legal and illegal marijuana prices, says Josh Crossney, the founder of the Annual Cannabis Science Conference.
“Allowing flower for medical patients in Pennsylvania would really divert a lot of the black market traffic that’s going on,” says Crossney.
But before the flower can be sold legally to those with medical marijuana cards, the state’s health secretary must first sign off.