While medical cannabis prices in Colorado and Maine range from $35 to $40 per eighth, that same eighth would cost $58 in Pennsylvania where patients face some of the highest medical cannabis costs in the country, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Ounces in the state can cost as much as $600 in some cases.
The exorbitant prices have multiple causes, including state regulations that limit supply — cannabis in Pennsylvania can only be grown indoors and the state requires two impurity tests for cannabis destined for market, and batches that fail the second test must be completely destroyed — and “timid” government agencies who are unwilling to regulate prices and prevent outright “profiteering,” the report says.
“The patient community is always outraged about the prices,” said Luke Shultz, a member of the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board. “I’m not sure where the price should be. But we’d sure like to see it lower.”
The newly-formed Office of Medical Marijuana (OMM) has kept mostly tight-lipped about the situation.
“We continue to work to assist patients to ensure we have access to medical marijuana.” — OMM statement, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Meanwhile, increased demand from the addition of “pain” and “anxiety” as qualifying conditions for Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis program has compounded the supply shortages.
The OMM has the authority to adjust prices to help “low-income” cannabis patients access their medicine in Pennsylvania but the agency says its hands are tied until final regulations are adopted and the OMM pays the state back $3 million in start-up money, according to the report.
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