Pennsylvania medical pot sales top $500M in first 2 years

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FILE – This Aug. 15, 2019 file photo shows a marijuana plant in an indoor cannabis farm in Gardena, Calif. A survey released on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019 says U.S. college students are using marijuana at the highest rates in 35 years. Marijuana use continues to be higher in college-age adults than any other age group. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program has passed a half-billion dollars in sales since it began dispensing the drug nearly two years ago.

John Collins, director of the state’s Office of Medical Marijuana, said at an advisory board meeting Wednesday that about 147,000 people are currently certified to purchase medical marijuana at one of the 72 dispensaries now in operation.

He says there are currently about 65,000 patient visits to dispensaries per week. Their average purchase is about $120.

About 60 percent of the demand is coming from patients with pain or pain-related conditions, which Collins says is in line with other states’ experience.

Pennsylvania’s 2016 medical marijuana law permits its use for a list of conditions that include AIDS, autism, cancer, chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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