PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Up until now in the production of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, the leaves and flowers have never made it out of processing. Today, they bloomed in full retail glory.
“Everyone that is coming in is buying the flower,” says Solevo Wellness COO Sam Britz.
Tasean Fields has used the oils but, “I’ve tried the dry leaf before and its actually better.”
But the oils and extracts can be an expensive path to relief.
Arden Rieder knows that all too well, “It can vary from a couple hundred dollars a week to a couple hundred dollars a month,” which is why so many people lined up at the doors of dispensaries on this the first day of “dry leaf” or “flower” sales.
Britz says, “The pricing on the dry leaf is a lot better and it’s a nice price point for everybody.”
Eddie Hollinger has spent years doing tile work and needs the help with his chronic pain. The cheaper cost is a different form of relief, “You can buy it in smaller forms so I didn’t have to spend a lot of money.
At CY+, the co-founder, Trent Hartley, says the dry leaf and flower have more of their natural benefits since it is not processed like the oils and extracts.
“So, from a medical standpoint, the flower is more beneficial to the body,” he said.
KDKA’s John Shumway Reports:
Britz says another benefit of the flower is, “The level of THC is lower and a lot of people like that.”
Hartley adds, “The oils are 70 to 80 percent THC and the flower products are close to 20 percent THC.”
State law requires the user to vape the dry leaf and flower. If someone purchases product from a medical marijuana dispensary and is caught smoking it they face revocation of their medical marijuana card and forfeit the right to further purchases.
Many of those making purchases on Wednesday see this as another step towards Pennsylvania legalizing marijuana for recreational use. In Eddie Hollinger’s view, “It’s just a flower, God put it here.”
And Vietnam veteran Walt Loncz, of Uniontown, who depends on the medical marijuana to handle his PTSD and arthritis believes it’s just a matter of time.
“We will get it sooner or later it will be legal. We’re always last in Pennsylvania,” he said.
Hartley believes Harrisburg will approve the bills to legalize once New Jersey does next year and tax dollars start flying out of the Philly area into Jersey.
“They could literally take a drive across the bridge,” he said.
Unlike when the dispensaries opened six months ago and product ran short the growers say those issues are in the past and there is plenty of product. In fact, Solevo is looking to open another dispensary in Butler and CY+ is considering opening in Indiana, Pennsylvania.