A Pennsylvania lawmaker is planning to introduce legislation that would allow small businesses and farmers to cultivate cannabis for the state’s medical cannabis program, the Center Square reports. Democratic Rep. Melissa Shusterman’s bill would create cannabis industry licenses specifically for farmers and small businesses as the state currently only allows a limited number of licenses per regulatory zone.
The bill would open up 75 new permits for small businesses and farmers.
“Pennsylvanians shouldn’t have trouble accessing medication prescribed by a doctor for relief from pain and sickness. The restrictions placed on growers and processors hurts small businesses, farmers and patients alike. … Studies have repeatedly shown the benefits of medical marijuana for certain medical conditions. It’s unfair that only large companies dominate the market and hurt consumers and small businesses.” — Shusterman via the Center Square
Shusterman added that the legislation would also work to alleviate the supply chain situation in the state’s medical cannabis market.
During remarks on the House floor in May, Shusterman said that “all medical marijuana currently sold in Pennsylvania dispensaries comes from out-of-state” and the bill would “equip…small farmers with critical access to” the cannabis industry.
“Medical marijuana is here to stay and we need to give our small farmers every opportunity to succeed,” she said.
From February 2020 to August 2020 — amid the coronavirus pandemic — the number of weekly patient visits to Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis dispensaries rose more than 70% from 70,000 to 120,000.
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