Pennsylvania Patients Are Turning to Illegal Cannabis

Health News - Pennsylvania Patients Are Turning to Illegal Cannabis

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, medical cannabis was not cheap by any means. Yet, now that Pennsylvanians are losing their jobs due to the pandemic, it has become even more inaccessible.

Despite medical cannabis products having a wide price range, patients tend to spend a whopping $1,500 a month, according to the nonprofit organization NORML.

Namely, NORML is a nonprofit that focuses on changing the current cannabis laws so that they benefit the patients more. For one, cutting the costs of medical cannabis so that patients don’t have to resort to illegal channels for relief for their symptoms.

Daniel Massey, a 48-year-old brain cancer survivor from Carlisle, says medical cannabis helped him in more ways than one. He claims that it stopped the seizures caused by conventional medicines he took beforehand. However, he admits the treatment was a challenge to maintain, considering the costs.

Massey also claims that the market price on the street in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, is $240 an ounce, whereas the price at dispensaries is about $500 dollars an ounce. And as NORML confirmed, this turned out to be the case all over Pennsylvania.

Moreover, in Pennsylvania, nearly half a million patients have applied for a medical marijuana card, but only about 300,000 are currently active.

However, according to Massey, no one is seriously putting a stop to black market sales; since for such a thing to happen, they would first have to make a competitively priced product, said Massey.

At the Pennsylvania Department of Health, they claim they are fully aware of the challenges medical cannabis patients encounter and that competitively-priced products are still being worked on. Nevertheless, their main goal is to make it available for everyone who needs it — just this month, 100 new dispensaries have been announced, for instance.