John Collins, director of Pennsylvania’s Office of Medical Marijuana, said this week that the state’s medical marijuana program has generated more than $500 million in revenue from medical cannabis sales.
A couple points of reference to underscore how impressive that figure is: Colorado only just passed the $1 billion threshold earlier this year for its legal marijuana industry that took effect in 2014.
Pennsylvania’s robust showing might be down to the broad nature of the state’s medical marijuana law. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf signed the measure into law back in 2016, making the treatment available for patients suffering from more than 20 qualifying conditions, including AIDS, autism, cancer, severe chronic or intractable pain, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, opioid dependency, and anxiety disorders.
The first dispensaries opened for business in Pennsylvania in early 2018, and within a year, medical cannabis sales eclipsed $130 million, easily dwarfing first-year revenue totals for Maryland ($95.4 million), Illinois ($36.3 million), Massachusetts ($25-$35 million) and New York ($5-$15 million).
Wolf said earlier this year that Pennsylvania’s first-year tally “tells us that this program is working to help Pennsylvanians in need of this medication.”
“Patients are realizing the benefits and there has been steady, positive progress that