Cost of medical marijuana in PA is the highest in the nation
As Pennsylvania gears up towards an effort to legalize recreational marijuana for adult use, it’s important to take a look at home the medical cannabis program is operating in the state. According to surveys, PA has some of the highest prices for prescription marijuana. An eighth of Gorilla Glue 4, for example, costs $35 in California, $40 in Maine, and a whopping $58 in PA. An ounce of average cannabis in Colorado sells for less than $200. The same ounce in PA sells for between $500-600.
There are a variety of explanations for PA’s inflated weed costs. The Keystone State has a state law that keeps supply to a minimum, which increases demand. When demand is high and supply is low, the cost of the consumer good increases. The Office of Medical Marijuana in the state has declined to comment on the matter. Agency staff said the law restricts their ability to tackle the outrageous pricing until they have first adopted final regulations and paid back $3 million in seed money to the state.
While a fund had been set up by the medical marijuana program to assist lower-income patients with the costs of their medication, $20 million in early cannabis revenue had been transferred to the state’s general fund to make up the difference for shortfalls experienced because of the pandemic.
High costs can also be attributed to Pennsylvanian growers charging more for their production of marijuana strains. However, growers dispute these accusations and claim that it is the unnecessary costs from the state that inflate marijuana prices. In PA, it costs $200,000 to obtain a permit, and an additional $10,000 fee per year. Arizona charges $10,000 and Colorado only charges $4,000.
If PA hopes to be competitive in the legal marijuana market, actions will have to be taken to reduce costs. Marijuana farmers looking to grow and sell the plant in accordance with state law will face fierce competition from blackmarket dealers importing the plant from other states at lower rates if they don’t address this issue soon.