Pennsylvania Senate Passes Bill to Allow More Licensed Cannabis Businesses to Sell Directly to Patients

The Pennsylvania Senate last week passed a proposal that would allow more licensed medical cannabis companies to operate as dispensaries — currently, just five of the state’s 25 cannabis companies are allowed to retail medical cannabis products.

Full story after the jump.

The Pennsylvania Senate last week passed a bill that would allow more licensed medical cannabis cultivators and processors in the state to sell directly to patients, PennLive reports. The measure passed 44-3 with bipartisan support. 

Under current state law, no more than five of the state’s 25 grower/processor license holders are allowed to act as dispensaries – all others must sell their products to a dispensary, which lawmakers say has created an imbalance in the system and created a near-monopoly.

State Sen. Chris Gebhard (R), the bill’s sponsor, suggested that the measure could be amended in the House to allow home cultivation by registered patients and perhaps full legalization provisions. However, state Sen. Dan Laughlin (R) told PennLive that if the bill “becomes a vehicle for adult use” he doesn’t believe it would pass the chamber.

“However, I think if they do add home-grown to this bill, it would strengthen the bill and I believe that we would be able to get it through this chamber as well.” — Laughlin to PennLive 

State Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R) told PennLive that she voted ‘no’ on the bill because it didn’t include home grow provisions.

“…I feel so strongly that we need to increase access to this medication for more Pennsylvanians by allowing them the option to grow a few plants at home,” she told PennLive.

State Sen. Sen. Sharif Street (D) added that he voted ‘yes’ to keep the measure alive but said “It is unconscionable that we continue to do this without addressing the issues that so many patients are having with cost, and the best way to do that is to allow home-grown in small amounts.”

The measure is currently in the House Health Committee.

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