Pennsylvania medical marijuana agency gets new director

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Laura Mentch, a pharmacist with experience in the medical marijuana industry, has been chosen to be the new director of Pennsylvania’s MMJ regulatory agency.

The licensed pharmacist replaces interim director Peter Blank as director of the Office of Medical Marijuana, a part of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pittsburgh Business Times reported.

According to the media outlet, Mentch has served as a pharmacist since 2019 at two of the state’s MMJ companies, multistate operators Ayr Wellness and Nature’s Medicines.

She takes the role during a critical juncture, with the state’s medical marijuana market struggling for months as falling wholesale prices have squeezed smaller companies.

Pennsylvania companies have told MJBizDaily it’s been difficult to compete without an affiliation with an MSO, evident by recent layoffs among independent businesses.