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What business wouldn’t like to see 500 percent growth in nine months? Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program is still relatively young, but it flexed its growing muscle with reports of skyrocketing growth from early 2019 to later in the year.

The program launched in 2016 has topped $500 million in total sales, announced Pennsylvania Office of Medical Marijuana Director John Collins at the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board’s November 2019 meeting.

This doesn’t mean that the state has reaped a half-billion dollars in net profit from medical marijuana – that number is closer to $94 million – but that total transactions from growers to dispensaries to patients has reached $524 million. Specifically, sales from growers to dispensaries totaled $309 million, and from dispensaries to patients reached $215 million.

Considering that total sales clocked in at $132 million in February 2019, the numbers could be seen as indication of the industry’s maturity. If the spending trend continues, sales will jump by 500 percent from year one to year two.

Collins also noted other trends pointing toward rapid growth:

  • 72 active dispensaries, up from 50.
  • More than 1,200 physicians approved to certify patients for medical marijuana use, up from 1,000.
  • 147,000 certified patients, up from 116,000.

Dispensaries count about 65,000 patient visits per week. About 160,000 products are sold per week, with patients spending an average of $120 per purchase. Since Pennsylvania’s first dispensary opened its doors in February 2018, there have been 2.5 million total patient visits.

As with other states, patients seeking relief from pain or pain-related conditions constitute about 60 percent of demand, Collins said. Chronic pain is one of 23 serious medical conditions qualifying Pennsylvanians for the medical marijuana ID cards that allow them to make purchases at registered dispensaries.

Pennsylvania has issued 250,000 medical marijuana ID cards, including about 25,000 for caregivers certified to deliver medical marijuana to minors or patients with disabilities.