Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania
Marijuana Venture’s ongoing series on various legal markets in the United States explores the ever-changing rules and regulations, market trends, demographics, business leaders and more for states that have legalized marijuana for medical or adult use. This month we continue our focus on the five leading medical markets, with an in-depth look at Pennsylvania, the state with possibly the longest running history of cannabis advocacy in the nation.
In fact, Pennsylvania’s history with cannabis is older than the U.S. itself, starting back in 1638 when the colony’s founder, William Penn, advocated for farmers to grow hemp across the colony. Penn helped pass one of the Pennsylvania’s first bills, encouraging all farmers to grow the plant, which became a staple in the state’s agriculture until federal prohibition hit, approximately 254 years later.
After the passage of the Marijuana Stamp Act, cannabis laws remained stagnant in Pennsylvania for nearly 80 years.
In 2012, Philadelphia became the largest U.S. city to decriminalize marijuana. Just two years later, Governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 3, establishing the state’s medical marijuana program and allowing physicians to recommend the use of cannabis to treat any of the 17 qualifying conditions listed in the bill.
The state market has consistently grown since its launch in 2016. According to the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board, as of November 2021, the program had 681,504 patients and caregivers registered and had generated $2.4 billion in retail sales. Now lawmakers are looking to expand the program to adult use with Senate Bill 473, proposed for the 2021-2022 legislative session.
Marijuana Venture will continue looking at medical markets across the country in upcoming issues, including Oklahoma and Missouri. For information about upcoming issues or to learn about advertising and sponsorship opportunities, email Editor@MarijuanaVenture.com.
A special thanks to Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania for sponsoring this issue.
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