Starting Wednesday, people with medical marijuana cards will be able to buy the product in dry leaf form at more than a dozen Pennsylvania dispensaries, including stores in Squirrel Hill and the Strip District.
Previously, medical marijuana first had to be processed into other forms, such as pills, liquids or topical ointments. Patients are still prohibited from smoking it, but can consume the product with a vaporizer.
Gov. Tom Wolf said the new policy increases access and options for consumers.
“Dried leaf, it turns out, is cheaper, it has less processing,” said Wolf. “Dry leaf [used] in vapor form, can also work more quickly.”
Despite this policy change, Wolf said the state is not ready to legalize cannabis for recreational use.
Patrick Nightingale, head of Pittsburgh’s chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said patients need to be aware of legal consequences if they decide to smoke their medical marijuana. If caught by law enforcement with smoking devices, a person can be charged with a paraphernalia offense.
In addition, Nightingale said, “a patient who is not acting in compliance by smoking marijuana may lose their patient registration card."
The Pennsylvania Department of Health said that by Wednesday, Aug. 8, at total of 28 dispensaries will have dry leaf marijuana in stock.
Below is a list of dispensaries the state said will carry dry leaf medical marijuana.
Sales slated to begin on Aug. 1:
- Columbia Care, 1790 North Keyser Avenue, Scranton;
- Cresco Yeltrah, 201 Pillow Street, Butler;
- Cresco Yeltrah, 2116 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh;
- CURE Pennsylvania, 1866 Fruitville Pike, Lancaster;
- Liberty, 8900 Krewstown Road, Philadelphia;
- Ilera Healthcare, 420 Plymouth Road, Plymouth Meeting;
- Keystone Canna Remedies, 1309 Stefko Boulevard, Bethlehem;
- Keystone Center Integrative Wellness, 1490 High Street, Williamsport;
- Keystone Shops, 367 South Henderson, King of Prussia;
- Organic Remedies, 4425 Valley Road, Enola;
- Restore Integrative Wellness, 957-963 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia;
- RISE, 801 South Front Street, Steelton;
- RISE, 2108 West 8th Street, Erie;
- Solevo, 5600 Forward Avenue, Pittsburgh;
- TerraVida Holistic Centers, 1626 Old York Road, Abington; and
- TerraVida Holistic Centers, 249 Planebrook Road, Malvern.
Sales slated to begin on Aug. 8:
- CURE Pennsylvania, 500 Kimberton Road, Phoenixville;
- Beyond/Hello, 2412 Durham Road, Bristol;
- Liberty, 2030 West Main Street, Norristown;
- Justice Grown, 7B Gateway Shopping Center, Edwardsville;
- Keystone Shops, 420 West Lancaster Avenue, Devon;
- Knox Medical, 648 Frederick Street, Hanover;
- Mission Pennsylvania II, 2733 West Emmaus Avenue, Allentown;
- Organic Remedies, 900 Wayne Avenue, Chambersburg;
- PA Natural Medicine, 2105 North Atherton Street, State College;
- RISE, 872 Harrisburg Pike, Carlisle;
- TerraVida Holistic Centers, 64 North Main Street, Sellersville; and
- The Healing Center, 799 West Chestnut Street, Washington