The dry leaf section of dispensary menus at Solevo and across the state has been looking light over the last week or two. Let’s talk about what’s going on and what can be done.
We are almost exactly one year removed from August 1, 2018, when PA dry leaf launched in state dispensaries. At the time, there was a state-imposed weekly purchase maximum of 15 grams per week. Patient demand was high across the state and our growers did not have ample inventory as they were still working to build up inventory levels in the newly allowable flower form. Eventually, the growers were able to catch up and dry leaf menus at Solevo and other dispensaries were able to expand to reflect the deeper levels of available products.
In December of 2018, the Wolf Administration announced 23 new permits for dispensaries in the Phase 2 roll-out of the PA medical marijuana program. Those new dispensaries are now becoming fully operational, and they are looking for the same dry leaf products to serve their patients that our team is constantly working to source for our patients.
The good news is that there are Phase 2 growers added to the PA program as well. The bad news in the short term is that these new growers have taken a little longer than the new dispensaries to become fully operational. Once they are up and running, we expect inventory levels in dry leaf will normalize across the state again. In the short term, we have a situation where PA dispensary count has increased by 41% (from 56 in the initial Phase 1 launch to 79 today), without a corresponding increase in operational growers to supply those dispensaries.
We know how frustrating this is for our patients, especially those who prefer the dry leaf form to help manage their care. It can be challenging to find the right strains and forms in the first place and exasperating to discover that the right product is no longer available. Many of us are patients and caregivers ourselves and we are sorry this situation exists.
We are working every day to find as much available dry leaf as we can and bring it to our Western PA dispensaries. As one of the larger dispensaries in the state, we are often able to get a lot more dry leaf than other dispensaries. We are going to keep talking with our growers every day to see what we can secure for our patients.
We have also heard from select patients who have made a temporary switch from dry leaf to cartridges. This won’t be the right fit for everyone, but there are times when the same strain that is now hard to find in dry leaf will be available in a cartridge.
So beginning on Monday, August 19th we are going to make our $10 batteries available for $5 for patients. Our team is working to secure a new large shipment of batteries now so we can have them in inventory by that date. You’ll see these listed on our menus as the 510 compatible, adjustable heat battery and the 510 compatible, inhale activated battery. We know it’s not going to solve the challenge, but we hope it makes things just a bit easier for any patients who might be considering a test of a new form.
If you have additional questions or feedback, please talk with a Patient Care Consultant at one of our dispensaries. And you can always check out our medical marijuana FAQ page.