Living the Dream: Sharon Ali

Sharon Ali

General Manager

Acreage Holdings, Pennsylvania Region

Sinking Spring, PA

A little over a year ago, something incredible happened here in Pennsylvania. After an intense but ambitious period marked by permit approvals, site preparation, construction deadlines, state inspections and everything else that goes into building a medical marijuana grow/processing facility from the ground up, the industry was finally launched. In February 2018, the commonwealth’s first legal medical marijuana sales began at a Pittsburgh-area dispensary, with many other dispensaries soon stocking their shelves and serving patients.

For those Pennsylvanians who suffer from one or more qualifying medical conditions, the ability to safely and responsibly access medical marijuana is monumental — and demand only continues to grow. As of December 2018, more than 87,000 patients and nearly 10,000 caregivers have registered for the state’s medical marijuana program and more than 56,700 patient certifications have been issued, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Back in June 2017, as I returned home from a college reunion trip, I learned the exciting news that Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania was one of the first 12 companies to receive a grower/processor permit from the Department of Health. The progress we’ve made during a relatively short time frame is nothing short of extraordinary. From constructing a brand new 30,000-square-foot indoor facility — leveraging the support and expertise of our parent company, Acreage Holdings, Inc. — to growing and harvesting product and finally seeing it on dispensary shelves, my team and I hit critical milestones and built a loyal customer base around our prime brand of products. Our flower has been particularly well received, with some customers lauding it on social media as the “finest cannabis in PA.”

As with any company in the startup phase, it hasn’t always been easy. We hit a few roadblocks and experienced hiccups along the way, some of which were outside of Prime Wellness’ control. For example, as our team raced to harvest and process our plants, we were set back by delivery delays on key processing equipment. Fortunately, we kept pushing forward in our effort to deliver expertly crafted medicine to improve quality of life for patients and caregivers across the commonwealth.

In the coming months, my team and I are hyper-focused on delivering a promising array of new products, such as concentrates and live products, to provide further relief to those in need. At the same time, the Department of Health continues to look for ways to expand the patient population by adding new medical conditions to the list of qualifying conditions, a key driver for enabling this budding industry to continue to prosper.

By all accounts, Prime Wellness of Pennsylvania is well positioned for growth in 2019 and beyond.

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