The first few weeks of legal medical cannabis sales in the state of Pennsylvania haven’t gone as smoothly as many would have hoped, as dispensaries are experiencing shortages. Even though there are plenty of potential customers willing to pay high prices for cannabis medicine, the demand was simply greater than the supply – with some dispensaries selling out of CBD and shatter within the first hour of opening.
In fact, there has been only one distributor that has been able to ship product so far, with the rest hoping to be able to do so by the end of the month. Chris Visco, co-owner of the TerraVida Holistic Center in Sellersville, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that they are selling out almost as quickly as they can get inventory.
“We have no inventory. We took a shipment on Wednesday. On Thursday, we had the biggest sales day we’ve ever had. By this morning, all we had left were a handful of disposable vape pens, Visco said.
Dispensary owners reportedly were not anticipating this kind of demand for legal medical cannabis, which could come as a bit of a shock to anyone who knows how lucrative the market is for legal herb as a whole.
“Pennsylvania’s market is much larger than anybody anticipated,” Visco said. “No one could have projected it. I had projected 60 people initially for the entire month. We had over 600 patients in our first eight days,” Visco said.
Other shops decided to close until they could stock up on more inventory to serve as many customers as possible, such as the Keystone Shop in Devon.
“We’re looking at resuming sales the third week in March,” said Skip Shuda, COO of the Keystone Shop. “It’s frustrating for us, and it’s frustrating for a lot of patients who were looking for medicine.”
Keystone Canna Remedies in Bethlehem decided to limit customers to only two vape cartridges each until more stock comes in, but owner Victor Guadagnino expects the shortage won’t last long.
“We’re going through some growing pains,” Guadagnino said. “But as other providers come online, I don’t think we’ll see this issue again.”
Along with a lack of product comes higher than normal prices as well. With as long as it took for the medical cannabis program to finally be implemented in the Keystone State, patients in need of medical weed will have to wait just a little bit longer. Hopefully prices go down and supply goes up as the market in Pennsylvania continues to grow.