As of August 1, Pennsylvanians with medical marijuana cards were able to purchase dried buds for the first time. Sixteen medical cannabis dispensaries opened on the 1st to throngs of people who were beyond glad to have the actual cannabis option.
Though SB 3 was signed into law on April 17, 2016, it wasn’t until April 2018 that dispensaries opened and then it was with extremely processed forms of cannabis, such as oils, tinctures and salves. As cannabis continues to gain momentum across the states, these processed products have become popular, many with very good reason and especially vape pens, but the lines to buy bud are the proof in the pudding, people love their weed.
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Dried, cured, trimmed marijuana is still the one, still the most familiar and still the way most imbibers are comfortable taking it. There is one stipulation in Pennsylvania, however, the cannabis cannot be smoked, but vaporized. Special pens, boxes and the infamous Volcano are all available to assist, though, and for many, breathing in the vapor just feels right.
An amazing aspect to cannabis is the amount of people who are able to wean themselves off of addictive prescriptions, like benzos and opiates. Patients on line described their victories over pharmaceuticals to Philly.com and their stories, though full of suffering and pain, became uplifting and on the verge of miraculous when they got to the parts about medical marijuana and how it intervened in their lives.
Around 32,000 patients have registered for medical cannabis in Pennsylvania so far, and if the dispensary lines were any indication, adding full plant cannabis to the list of wares will likely bring in many new patients. Aside from being the more familiar choice, dried bud also costs less than most cannabis products. Some dispensaries were selling high quality grams for as little as $12.
The rush to buy greens is encouraging in another way. As the cannabis industry becomes more homogenized and corporatized, many older school activists and those who follow history have had concerns that cannabis itself was going to morph into a variety of isolated pharmaceuticals. Period. This latest showing by Pennsylvanians makes it clear that that’s just not what the people want. Though what they really, really want is to probably spark up a joint.