Cannabis has been taking over Pennsylvania and the brands just keep on coming. You can’t blame, the industry is ripe in this state and big brands are just grabbing the opportunity. These brands are coming in hot and PA is definitely ready for them.
But there’s more to this than just brands getting into the state. While customers are happy with the additional supply from the big guys, it’s a different story with how they acquired their licenses. Let’s take a look at the situation in PA.
There’s no denying that the a bulk of PA’s dispensaries are residents who want to try their luck in the hottest industry in town – medical marijuana. But as much as the state wants to give that fair advantage to them, some big companies just manage to take over.
Here are some big brands in the state:
Jushi Holdings Inc.
The newest player in town is Jushi Holdings Inc. This is a multi-state cannabis and hemp operator that has recently entered the state through agreements with entities it has recently purchased.
These entities already have a couple of state-approved dispensaries in the state. Although some of these dispensaries are still under construction, they’re well on their way to becoming top dispensaries now that this player has purchased them.
Green Leaf Medical LLC
This subsidiary in PA currently has over 103,000 square feet of industrial space renovated for medical cannabis cultivation and processing.
Not only that, it also has over 160,000 square feet of land pending for further development. Recently, this brand has an agreement with Innovative Industrial Properties, a real estate company. The real estate company acquired over 266,000 square feet of industrial space from the brand.
Another multi-state cannabis brand is Cresco Labs and it has recently opened its third dispensary in New Kensington, Pennsylvania.
The said brand still has three licenses they can use to open more dispensaries in the state in the coming years. The first sale of this brand was back in February 2018, making it the first dispensary to have sold legal cannabis in the state.
Medical Marijuana in PA
Ever since the medical marijuana program was legalised, there have been a couple of loopholes found in the law and multi-state companies have taken advantage of it. Who wouldn’t, right?
Last 2018, the industry has reached over $130 million in sales. That’s a feat, given that the industry is still new. There are over 100,000 medical marijuana patients in the state and all these patients are allowed to purchase around 30-days’ worth of supply.
Currently, the program has been receiving lots of applications – by the thousands and the number is still expected to increase in the coming years. What more if the state decides to legalise recreational marijuana.
Likewise, businesses are also allowed to sell that much to patients. Seeing this kind of scheme, patients buy in bulk every period. For top-selling dispensaries, the returns are big. This kind of ROI is what attracts residents to get into the industry. For more info, you can visit: https://www.veriheal.com/pennsylvania.
Despite being expensive, patients are still willing to purchase these products because they need it and they’ve been seeing satisfying results.
On the business side, the state doesn’t necessarily check up on these businesses once they’ve been approved for their licenses. That’s why there have been lots of businesses that have found their way in state’s marijuana industry. We’ll talk about that in the next part.
Skirting PA laws
Whether we like it or not, most companies have this strange advantage over small and medium enterprises. These companies are finding ways to outsmart the law and gain more access to the state’s cannabis industry.
One of these companies is Harvest Health & Recreation. Last April, it entered the PA market and relayed that it was allowed seven permits – which means that they’re allowed over 21 locations all over the state.
The state only currently allows five permits per company but this one managed to get two more than the usual. The problem with big companies like this is that it’s going to control a big portion of the market. This is the exact problem that lawmakers want to avoid but it’s the very thing that’s going to happen.
If Harvest Health & Recreation pushes through with over 21 locations, it’s going to hold more than 10% of the entire state’s medical marijuana market. That’s more than a couple of small and medium enterprises can hold.
It’s not just Harvest that’s taking over, companies like Culver city, Medmen Enterprises, and Green Thumb Industries have also found their way into the state through the loopholes they found in the law. As mentioned in the previous section, they’ve purchased businesses to get into the state.
Surely, there will be more brands coming into the state in the next couple of years. While there can still be loopholes in the future, the state will do its best to regulate the industry to be fair with the smaller businesses opened by PA residents.
Jason Smith did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.
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