Checking in on the medical marijuana business in Erie: is it growing?

Local News

In one year more than 80,000 patients have registered for Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program. 

The registry allows patients to sign up for the state-certified medical marijuana card.  Medical marijuana providing relief to tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians registered for the state’s program. 

One of those patients is Bart DiPlacido, who had an accident more than 20 years ago that left him with two bent discs in his back and spinal stenosis.  After the accident, Bart was left with severe back pain and discomfort. 

“I went through opioids,” he tells us, “I tried over-the-counter and other things like that. Like I say, with my allergies… kept me from doing a lot of things. So, I just would kind of deal with the pain.”

Bart says he gets the most relief from using medical marijuana in the form of concentrates and vaporizers.  He says it eases his pain and helps to take his mind off of his discomfort.  

In Pennsylvania, medical marijuana also comes in the form on oils, vape cartridges, topicals, and capsules. 

There are 20 physicians in Erie County who are certified to register patients facing a number of medical conditions.

Jill Beck, Director of Community Engagement for GTI PA, says, “There are 21 medical conditions that are currently eligible for treatment with medical cannabis. Everything from ALS, Parkinson’s Disease, Autism, Epilepsy,  Glaucoma, Sickle Cell Anemia, cancer, terminal illness, chronic pain, PTSD… are just some of the top conditions that we see.”

Green thumb Industries, or GTI, is the parent company of the area’s only dispensary, Rise Erie.  They also operate the grow process cultivation facility out of Danville in Pennsylvania. 

Late in July, the state awarded 13 additional grower/processor licenses, showing that this market is expected to continue growing across the commonwealth; continuing to help Pennsylvanians like Bart.

“I’m real glad, you know? And I’ve been an advocate of cannabis for a while… I mean, they’ve got to go further, they’ve got to keep going with this.”

The Marijuana Business Fact Book of 2018 says the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Market will hit at least $50 million and up to $80 million in sales this year.

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