A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation to expand medical cannabis cultivation in the state and increase the number of growers.
Representative Melissa Shusterman (D-Chester/Montgomery) on Friday introduced House Bill 2035, which would increase the number of medical cannabis permits in Pennsylvania, alleviate supply problems, lighten the burden on consumers, and allow small businesses and farms to enter an ever-growing market.
A Time for Change
Shusterman says draconian laws that designate how many growers can be in one zone have created a big corporation monopoly and a supply shortage that drives up prices and hurts consumers who need their cannabis medication.
The bill is co-sponsored by Ben Sanchez (D), Carol Hill-Evans (D), Jeanne McNeill (D), Darisha Parker (D), Malcolm Kenyatta (D), Mark Rozzi (D), Stephen Kinsey (D), Dan Frankel (D), David Zimmerman ®, Mark Longietti (D), Steven Malagari (D), Nancy Guenst (D), Napoleon Nelson (D), and Maureen Madden (D).
In June, Shusterman co-sponsored House Bill 1024, which amended Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act to expand medical cannabis access for patients.
The bill, which became law on June 30, increased possession and monthly purchase limits, allowed curbside pickup and telemedicine certifications, and removed limits on how many patients a caregiver can assist.
Shusterman wrote on Twitter that she introduced House Bill 2035 to allow small farmers to grow medical cannabis because she believes that current restrictions hurt small farmers and patients.
“Pennsylvanians shouldn’t have trouble accessing medication prescribed by a doctor for relief from pain and sickness,” says Schusterman. “The restrictions placed on growers and processors hurts small businesses, farmers, and patients alike.”
Leveling the Growing Field
According to Shusterman, farmers and small businesses have been denied entry into the medical cannabis industry, which has netted more than $1 billion for big corporations in Pennsylvania.
Shusterman says that her bill would allow small businesses and farmers to participate in medical cannabis cultivation, eliminating the big corporation monopoly.
“The studies have shown again and again the benefits of medical marijuana for certain medical conditions,” says Shusterman. “It’s not fair that only big corporations control the market, hurting consumers and small businesses.”
Shusterman says that 62 percent of Pennsylvanians support legalizing adult-use cannabis, and her legislation will bring the state one step closer to putting the medication directly into the hands of those who need it most.