Cresco Labs Opens Third Pittsburgh Area Dispensary

PENNSYLVANIA: Cresco Labs, one of the largest vertically integrated multi-state cannabis operators in the United States, has announced the opening of a CY+ dispensary in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. To commemorate the opening, Cresco welcomed Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman to cut the ceremonial ribbon and to speak about the opioid crisis plaguing the state and Cresco’s role in advancing medicinal cannabis as a safe and accessible alternative for patients. With New Kensington as the third CY+ dispensary to open in Pennsylvania, Cresco has licenses for three more dispensaries planned to open during the second quarter of 2019.

“We are excited to open our third CY+ dispensary in the growing Pennsylvania market and to be the first in the Pittsburgh metro area to launch our online ordering feature,” said Cresco Labs CEO and co-founder Charlie Bachtell. “Patients across the state can reserve their orders online and enjoy convenient and easy access to their selected medicines at three dispensaries in Pennsylvania with three more planned for the first half of this year. These firsts in the state of Pennsylvania underscore our mission to normalize and professionalize the cannabis experience for customers across a multitude of market segments.”

Cresco Labs first entered the Pennsylvania market in February 2018 with the opening of its Butler retail dispensary, making the first ever legal sale of cannabis under Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program. Cresco’s flagship location in Pennsylvania, which opened in June 2018, is located in the historic Strip District of the city of Pittsburgh. Cresco also operates a state-of-the-art cultivation facility in the city of Brookeville.

“We’re creating a retail experience that matches the varied needs of our patients,” Bachtell continued. “We are incorporating technology that can help patients get the product they want when they want it, and without the wait. In conjunction with our New Kensington dispensary, we are also launching our RESERVE branded product in Pennsylvania, delivering a premium and exclusive cannabis experience based on years of selective plant breeding. Our CY+ dispensaries carry a high-quality selection of products such as dry leaf, vape pens and cartridges, oral sprays, pills, topicals, and transdermal patches from growers across the state. We are deeply committed to solidifying our market leadership in one of the most attractive and highly coveted markets in the country and expanding the relief we provide to patients in that state.”

Pennsylvania operates as a high-barrier market with very limited market participation. Retail sales opened in February 2018 to a limited number of retail locations across the state. Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana market is expected to become one of the biggest markets in the U.S., according to Marijuana Business Daily, January 2018. Cresco Labs operates as Cresco Yeltrah in Pennsylvania.

FSD Pharma Announces Launch of IBS Clinical Study

CANADA: FSD Pharma has announced the launch of a pilot clinical study in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, by its strategic R&D partner, SciCann Therapeutics. The study is designed to test the safety and efficacy of SciCann’s proprietary “Steady Stomach” cannabidiol (CBD) combination product for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patients. This study follows the previously reported efficacy results from a preclinical study in rodent models which demonstrated a three-fold increased efficacy in lowering abdominal inflammation levels with the advanced combination product as compared to CBD alone.

The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study will enroll 20 patients in a cross-over design to comply with the highest standards of rigorous scientific validity and certification demands of international medical regulatory authorities.

Under the terms of FSD’s strategic agreement with SciCann, the Company holds exclusive manufacturing and distribution rights for the “Steady Stomach” product in Canada.

The study’s principal investigator is Dr. Bryan Doner of Compassionate Care Certifications Centers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and the CRO is Affinity Bio Partners, led by CEO Dr. Christina DiArcangelo Puller.

Dr. Raza Bokhari, CEO of FSD Pharma, stated, “This innovative clinical study aims to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of this easy-to-administer, side-effect-free therapy for a very common disease. Although rarely spoken about, IBS causes suffering to many patients around the world by dramatically reducing quality of life. The launch of this study marks another important milestone for FSD on its way to becoming a leading supplier of superior and differentiated medical, cannabis-based therapies for patients. Together with our partner SciCann, FSD is working tirelessly towards the development of novel and disruptive cannabinoid-based therapies for the world’s most under-treated diseases and irritable bowel syndrome is high on our list of target indications.”

Dr. Zohar Koren, co-founder and CEO of SciCann Therapeutics, stated, “The prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome is estimated at 10-15 percent of the global population. This is an under-diagnosed, hard-to-treat condition that causes an estimated cost to society of over US$21 billion annually in direct medical expenses and indirect costs associated with loss of productivity1. Based on our research, we believe that our proprietary “Steady Stomach” CBD combination product can serve as a new treatment standard to improve the lives of patients. We are looking forward to reporting on the results of this clinical study. ”

PA Marijuana Dispensary Agent Training Class In Pittsburgh Sunday, June 25th

PENNSYLVANIA: HempStaff, a medical marijuana staffing and training agency, is hosting a Medical Marijuana Dispensary Agent Training Class in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Sunday, June 25, 2017. The class will be held at the Embassy Suites Pittsburgh, located at 550 Cherrington Parkway, Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. There are 2 sessions to choose from: 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. or 1:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. The cost is $249 with prior online registration or $300 (cash-only) at the door, if seats are still available.

Pennsylvania Marijuana Applications were submitted 3 months ago on March 20. The Pennsylvania Dept. of Health is expected to announce the winners of the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Applications any day. Dispensary staffing needs will be in large demand after the winners are announced as up to 27 Dispensary licenses will be approved in this round of applications, each license can have up to 3 Dispensary locations. With 3-4 Dispensary Agents (also known as Budtenders) needed in each dispensary location, that’s around 250-300 Dispensary Agents that will be hired over the next several months.

HempStaff’s four-hour course is designed to prepare participants for work at a marijuana dispensary so that business owners are getting educated and well-prepared candidates when filling new, entry-level positions. This specific marijuana training course covers regulations in Pennsylvania.


Pittsburgh City Council Votes To Decriminalize Possession Of Small Amounts Of Marijuana

PENNSYLVANIA: By a vote of 7-2, Pittsburgh City Council passed a measure to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana this morning.

The bill allows city police to fine up to $100 for possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana, or 8 grams of hashish, instead of citing them for a misdemeanor. Its sponsor, Public Safety Committee chair Daniel Lavelle, previously said the measure was intended to “help break the damning life-long consequences of unemployment, lack of education, and being caught in a revolving criminal justice system.”

Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith, who along with Darlene Harris voted against the bill, said she sympathized with those goals, but said it was “irresponsible” to pass such a bill at the local level. She noted that her district, which encompasses southern and western neighborhoods in the city, borders other municipalities where such measures have not been discussed.

Given that, she said, “I think [the bill] gives a false sense of security to people driving on the streets,” and if people were pulled over by police in those communities, the confrontation “could actually escalate to something much more serious than a fine.”

Pittsburgh’s Proposed Marijuana Decriminalization Would Free Up Law-Enforcement Resources

PENNSYLVANIA: Most people can come up with a slew of reasons to decriminalize or even legalize marijuana: It has proven medicinal benefits; it consistently accounts for fewer deaths annually than alcohol consumption; and many believe minorities are disproportionately persecuted for its possession.

But another case for decriminalizing marijuana is that it can reduce the strain on city resources by freeing up law-enforcement officials to focus on violent crimes, and also free up court resources by reducing the number of individuals circulating through the criminal justice system.

“From a fiscally responsible government perspective,” says Pittsburgh City Councilor Daniel Lavelle, “when police have to go about dealing with small amounts of marijuana and these charges end up having to go through the court system, it ultimately is a huge burden and fiscal waste of government resources.”

And that’s one of the reasons why last month Lavelle proposed legislation to decriminalize marijuana. Under the ordinance, possession would be punishable by a civil fine of up to $100 for less than 30 grams of marijuana or 8 grams of hashish, which has a higher concentration of THC.

Pittsburgh May Be Poised To Decriminalize Marijuana

PENNSYLVANIA: A bill to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana within the City of Pittsburgh is set to be introduced Tuesday in City Council. The legislation, based on a law enacted in Philadelphia last October, would amend the Pittsburgh City Code to make possession of a small amount of marijuana (under 30 grams), or smoking a small amount of marijuana in a public space, a civil violation subject to a fine of $100.

The bill is being introduced by Councilman Daniel Lavelle, of District 6, which encompasses Downtown, Uptown, the Northside, Oakland, The Hill District and Perry Hilltop.

“This bill helps to decrease the many lives destroyed by the unnecessarily harsh consequences that come with the most minor marijuana offenses,” said Councilman Lavelle in a press release. “The bill will help break the damning lifelong consequences of unemployment, lack of education and being caught in a revolving criminal justice system, all due to a minor marijuana offense.”

Under current city law, possession of a small amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor. But according to Patrick Nightingale, Executive Director of Pittsburgh NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), that charge is almost always downgraded to a summary charge of Disorderly Conduct.

“Almost every person who is charged with a misdemeanor possession of a small amount of marijuana and/or misdemeanor of marijuana paraphernalia only is having their case reduced from a misdemeanor to a summary offense at city court,” says Nightingale.


Legalize PA Brings Pittsburgh Musicians Into The War Over Marijuana

PENNSYLVANIA:  Pittsburgh musicians enter the discussion on the legalization of marijuana Saturday at Mr. Smalls and — guess what — they’re all for it. Even if they don’t use it themselves.

Hanger Jam: Legalize PA, which features the diverse lineup of Good Brother Earl, BEAM, Truth and Rites, Josh Verbanets and Jasiri X, was initially conceived as a benefit for the gubernatorial campaign of John Hanger.

The former state environmental protection chief, who was endorsed by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), advocated a three-step plan that would begin with the legalization of medical marijuana and make recreational use legal by 2017. He dropped out of the race in March, failing to match the war chest of other candidates, including frontrunner Tom Wolf, a York businessman who contributed $10 million to his own campaign.