Pennsylvania’s local cannabis economy has exploded over the course of the last year. Entrepreneurs are filling growing consumer demand—legal or otherwise. The transitional nature of marijuana legality in the state and around the country provides enough wiggle room that smart business people who see the profitable opportunities available find ways to stake their claims, uncertainties be damned.
Change in Medical Marijuana laws across the nation.
28 states now have varying types of medical and recreational marijuana laws on their books, creating the vanguard of a significant market shift and recognizing a tantalizing new vertical. Where city, state and federal laws mix together in a vast legal gray area, Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program—passed April 2016—stands as a typical example of forward-thinking legislation burdened by a lot of traditional red tape. For example: flowers and leaves are not legal to sell in the state; instead marijuana must be processed into pills, oil, tincture, liquid and topical products.
Frank Ianuzzi, legislative director for Councilman Derek Green, claims that lawmakers are working on extending qualifications for Pennsylvania dispensaries to 10,000 land parcels. Currently, three parcels of land in Philadelphia qualify.
The lack of available locations causes a lack of visibility online and in records, a damaging stigma for industries whose ethics are in line with the national standard. Local business who cultivate, grow, process and purvey various forms of medicinal and recreational marijuana combine efforts to increase customer base and move the statewide perception towards acceptance, signified with brick and mortar locations.
Community and Medical approach to transforming the cannabis industry.
At a higher level, investors and scientists are becoming more aware and involved in the burgeoning industry. As laws change in favor of cannabis, significant revenue sources emerge. Venture capital and smart entrepreneurs are confident that the law will catch up to the culture and plan to be on the envelope. Investors who get in on the ground floor can be part of an industry that many expect will have exceeded $7 billion by the start of 2017.
Legal repercussions range as widely as do legalization efforts and programs across the U.S. Without question is the fact that penalties are most often leveraged against the African American community. Convicted felons cannot operate a legal cannabis business. This means that Black Americans overzealously jailed for low-level pot crimes cannot operate dispensaries. The racial overtones of marijuana law and legalization have resulted in a mostly white cadre of entrepreneurs throughout the country. Here again, Pennsylvania is an exception, which is why AGRiMED, a minority-owned business, sees the state as a prime real estate for their medical marijuana development business plan that focuses on giving back to the diverse communities they thrive upon.
From the Community Action Agencies to the local Chambers of Commerce—AGRiMED is listening to the voices of the community leaders who understands the people that live and work in them. We share the concerns of the community related to the growing opioid epidemic that is destroying families and deteriorating the Southwest Pennsylvania area. AGRiMED hears the voices of the former coal miners and their families and how unemployment and the underemployment negatively impacts their families. We also hear the voices of patients who look to medical marijuana as a viable option to treatment and improvement in the quality of life as a result of the benefits that this medical intervention can provide. Our goal is to increase access to this medicine and offer our patients the ability to have this value in their community.
Importance of local Pennsylvania Communities
These voices matter. They matter to AGRiMED Industries and they matter to those that work to manage our foundation AGRiCARES. We see opportunity in Southwestern Pennsylvania. We see opportunities to make real and lasting change in the lives of patients and we want an opportunity to engage and invest in a community that has welcomed us so warmly.
AGRiMED plans to be a staple in the communities where we have established a presence and a valuable asset to the people that we impact. We are excited to share our Community Impact Plan, and we are sure that our organic, grassroots approach to engaging Southwest Pennsylvania has allowed us to gather quality data and forge genuine relationships with many leaders across several fronts. Building on these relationships is our essential focus and our first priority in our Community Impact Plan.
AGRiMED’s Community Impact Plan to integrate, engage and empower is at the core of our daily operations and guides our future progress. It outlines plans and policies that target positive impacts on local residents and the community as a whole. Our commitment to diversity and equality of opportunity is unwavering and fully integrated into our structure, motivations and actions. Our commitment to act in a way that contributes to the health and welfare of the community provides a solid foundation for long-term stability and growth in our communities.