Harrisburg, Penn.- Patients in Pennsylvania are finding relief with medical marijuana–at least while supplies last. Dispensaries are already facing a supply shortage only weeks into legal medicinal sales.
“Right now, there’s a little hiccup in the road, bump in the road, and we’re just dealing with it,” said Sam Britz, the operator of Solevo Wellness according to CBS Pittsburgh.
In its first week of operations, Solevo has served approximately 500 patients. Unfortunately, many patients are unable to purchase the quantity or precise product they are looking for.
“It’s a little frustrating. It’s frustrating for the patients, too. But they understand,” said Britz.
According to Weedmaps, there are only two dispensaries in the Pittsburgh area with only one approved grower supplying cannabis for the entire state. Pennsylvania regulations prevent dispensary operators from acquiring marijuana from outside states. This means that PurePenn is the only source for all dispensaries in the state.
“We’re moving along at the pace we always indicated we would move at,” said Gabe Perlow, of PurePenn.
Regulators met this week to discuss possible changes to the medical marijuana program including updating the list of qualifying conditions and what products are allowed to be sold.
“The legislation called for this advisory board to make sure our medical marijuana program is something that’s going to continue to meet the needs of our patients for the future,” said April Hutcheson, with the Pennsylvania Department of Health according to WKBN.
The board will submit its recommendations to the secretary of health next month.
“We’ll have to see what the final recommendations are from the committee as to how they think we should proceed from here,” Hutcheson said.
Although there have been some initial obstacles for dispensary operators, some are still happy with the work regulators are doing.
“I’m very pleased with the way the progress is going and support from the department of health in the state, and we’re excited about finally being able to get medicine to patients,” said Ryan Smith, COO of Cure Pennsylvania.
The shortages have also impacted prices. According to Philly.com, the current average price for marijuana flower is $42 and the price for a gram of oil is ranging from $80 to $144 per gram.
Nevada faced similar shortages when the state first started recreational sales of marijuana. Only a handful of transporters were approved to deliver cannabis to dispensaries and shops quickly ran out supply. Emergency regulations were introduced by Governor Sandoval to help alleviate the shortages.