MANHEIM TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. -- A new form of medical marijuana will soon become available in Pennsylvania.
Starting August 1st, dispensaries across Pennsylvania will be able to sell dry-leaf medical marijuana.
16 dispensaries will initially offer dry-leaf, and by Wednesday, August 8th, 28 dispensaries across the Commonwealth will offer the medication.
Before someone can step inside a dispensary and purchase dry-leaf, they must check with their doctor and see if its right for their condition and be a medical marijuana cardholder.
Cure Pennsylvania in Manheim Township, Lancaster County is one of 28 dispensaries which will soon open its doors to dry-leaf medical marijuana.
Some people might recognize it.
"Ironically, in Pennsylvania, is now kind of going back to what people may normally think of as marijuana," said Ryan Smith, the Chief Operating Officer of Cure Pennsylvania.
People cannot legally smoke dry-leaf in Pennsylvania; it must be vaporized using a special tool, like a vaporizer.
As Smith demonstrates, dry-leaf must first be ground up and then packed into a vaporizer which will heat up.
"They would put it to their mouth. They would suck in the vapor into their lungs, hold it into their lungs, and then exhale," explained Smith.
During the first week of sales. each patient will be able to buy up to 15 grams of dry-leaf medical marijuana.
As the state continues to expand its medical marijuana program, some patients eagerly await a new form of relief.
"It is something that can deliver the same effect of an opioid, without the overwhelming side-effects attached to it," said Noah Johnson, a patient.
As a young teacher in Arizona, Johnson severely injured his back while on the job.
He found dry-leaf medicinal marijuana helpful there, in comparison to the powerful opioids he was initially prescribed.
"I was zonked out to the point my pain was gone, yes, but I wasn't myself," he said.
According to Smith, dry-leaf will help a number of people.
"18-80, ranging in from conditions from severe and attractable pain, opioid abuse therapy, spasticity, you name it," explained Smith.
It takes effect almost instantly,
"Typically, 10-20 seconds; where as if you're taking a pill, you could be looking at 60-90 minutes onset time," he added.
Johnson says it's both inexpensive compared to other products already on the table, and new patients may find it especially beneficial.
"It is something as a great way to introduce us because it is a very low potency product, and it's very cost efficient, a great way to introduce us to the medication without a very overwhelming feeling associated with that," explained Johnson.
Here is a full list of the dispensaries which will offer dry-leaf medical marijuana from the state's website.
In Central Pennsylvania, patients will be able to buy dry-leaf medical marijuana at Cure Pennsylvania in Manheim Township, RISE dispensaries in Steelton and Carlisle, Knox Medical in Hanover, and Organic Remedies dispensaries in Enola and Chambersburg.