Shusterman bill would give small growers piece of cannabis market

HARRISBURG, Oct. 29 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester/Montgomery, plans to introduce legislation that would allow smaller enterprises and farmers to acquire permits to grow medical marijuana.

The legislation would allow for permits for more growers, alleviating the supply situation, lessening the burden on consumers, and allowing smaller businesses and farmers the chance to compete in an ever-growing market.

Shusterman said she believes that because of the draconian laws in place about how many growers can be in one zone, the monopoly of several big corporations over this industry has created a supply shortage, which drives up prices and hurts consumers who need their prescribed medication.

“Pennsylvanians shouldn’t have trouble accessing medication prescribed by a doctor for relief from pain and sickness,” Shusterman said. “The restrictions placed on growers and processors hurts small businesses, farmers and patients alike."

Farmers and small businesses have been denied a piece of the over $1 billion that the industry has brought in for big corporations in Pennsylvania, according to Shusterman. She said her bill would allow for smaller businesses and farmers to take part in cultivation of cannabis for medical reasons, eliminating the monopoly held by big corporations.

“The studies have shown again and again the benefits of medical marijuana for certain medical conditions. It’s not fair that only big corporations control the market, hurting consumers and small businesses,” she said.

Sixty-two percent of Pennsylvanians support legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use. Shusterman said her legislation would bring the state one step closer to putting the medication directly into the hands of those who need and want it the most.