New PA law could increase medical marijuana dispensary permits by 20%

Be at the forefront of cannabis and psychedelics science and innovation. Register today & Save $200 on tickets to The Emerald Conference by MJBiz Science, April 1-3 in San Diego.

(This story has been updated to clarify the changes in Pennsylvania law.)

Up to 30 new medical marijuana dispensaries could open in Pennsylvania under a bill signed into law by the state’s Democratic governor, a potential expansion of 20%.

Under Senate Bill 773 – which Gov. Josh Shapiro signed into law Dec. 14, as promised – as many as 10 independent MMJ growers now qualify to apply for a dispensary license.

Until now, Pennsylvania law capped the number of dispensary license holders at 50.

That arrangement led to a market controlled by out of state big cannabis company that resembled a near monopoly, according to critics.

The new law:

  • Could mean an expansion of up to 20% in the number of dispensaries allowed in the state if all 10 that receive approvals apply.
  • Also allows up to four dispensaries previously barred from cultivating cannabis to begin growing operations.

The changes could help expand product offerings available to MMJ patients in the state, some of whom might be lured to nearby Ohio once adult-use sales begin there as anticipated in 2024.

There’s also new language that would require MMJ license holders to report any change in ownership affecting a stake of 20% or more.