The Monthly Grind: PA MMJ June Review – 06/30/20

Dear Readers,

With the our Pennsylvania legislature making the news by lawmakers spreading COVID throughout Harrisburg indiscriminately; this now places our state at an unusual precipice. At the time of this writing, much of the state is anticipating next week’s scheduled easing of restrictions- but we now know all of our Harrisburg lawmakers have been close-contact exposed to COVID-19. This means we will have a first hand look over the next fourteen days as to how our lawmakers will faire against this historic virus.

If our lawmakers become critically ill, I do not expect Pennsylvania to remain open. Our politicians have now become human groundhogs rather than guinea pigs: If they contract the virus, expect six more weeks of quarantine. If they have minor symptoms (or none at all): Reopening will continue as planned. Regardless of which direction the pendulum swings- The next fourteen days decide what the next several months or years have in store for us all.

Here is an Article from CNN about the Harrisburg Incident:

And here is a vlog from Representative Brian Sims of Philadelphia:

Poor guy just donated a kidney recently.

In the meantime, social distancing, limiting trips from home, and wearing a mask are all things we do to help protect and support ourselves and our neighbors. Even the most hardened skeptic can survive another fourteen days and watch, with the rest of us, how our state legislature will handle being personally infected with COVID-19.

The potential effects of this event on Medical Marijuana legislation is standstill. If a significant number of our representatives in Harrisburg show symptoms, we will be looking at cesation of all legislative activities until the immediate danger passes. Even if by rare chance this only spread to even a few people it will take weeks for the panic to die down enough for our government to transition fully to encrypted, remote meetings as opposed to meeting in person to discuss and pass new legislation. There are still 45 people from the Diamond Princess cruise ship still recovering from COVID-19 several months after their initial infection. If our lawmakers contract severe cases, our government may take months to recover. COVID-19 precautions are expected to remain in-place.

In other news, Dispensaries have been empty each time I have stocked up. All dispensaries I have visited in Reading, Lancaster, and Sellersville have implemented social distancing policies, limit the number of guests per store, and very visibly cleaned surfaces, wore masks, and accepted orders either online or over the phone.

With COVID-19, we have seen an increase of “untrimmed” flower offerings, however, I suspect this is another way to defraud Pennsylvania patients into accepting lower quality product for higher prices.

Below is a picture of a single bud of $35 Euphoria by Vireo compared against Ilera’s $56 Grape Pie Untrimmed:

Proving Price does not necessarily indicate quality

The dense, compact colas of Euphoria go far beyond a good trimming- it shows peak health of the plant resulting in a high quality product for the patient. The untrimmed product isn’t simply a cosmetic adjustment- Even though my weight came in slightly above 3.5 for untrimmed product, there are still very large stems and sugar leaves that violate Pennsylvania state law regarding Cannabis flower being free of stems and seeds.

Although Euphoria is listed as a CBD- strain at Harvest, I have found it to be superior to other strains of higher THC for pain and symptom relief.

Pricing has been all over the place as our Pennsylvania approved brands each attempt to carve out their niche with Pennsylvania Patients: Some like Farmeceutical Rx remain tone deaf to the current crisis and keep their price points unnecessarily inflated while other brands are slowly lowering prices such as Terrapin, Ilera, Moxie, and Cresco.

Speaking of Moxie- They have just released full grams of concentrate and in many dispensaries, lowered their prices. .5g now goes for $45 and a full gram for $80 of some strains.

The best price points for concentrates are under $65 for a full gram- although this is still higher than the national average significantly.

For flower, there are now a greater variety of options available under $45 at most locations. Pennsylvania residents staying indoors and making less frequent trips to the dispensaries is hastening the end of the shortage, thankfully.

I also picked up a Pina Colada Terpene-Enhanced C02 cartridge by Calypso: It tastes terrible and the terpine count is literally no higher than any non-enhanced product. I found the flavoring off-putting enough that I raised the temperature of my pen battery to just high enough to burn off as much flavoring as possible.

Space Ape RSO syringes by Prime Wellness make fantastically effective gummies. I discovered that RSO edibles have been far more effective than remaining on the Vireo Indigo tincture this month.

Other product notes: Cresco Bio Jesus Shatter has lasted me over a month so far- I crumbled it and add it to my Yocan Plus pen a few crumbs at a time. The downside is it really gunks up the pen. Cresco still offers wonderful concentrates at low price points. I have been very pleased with both Lime Skunk as well as Bio Jesus X Dank Commander buddar. Both have been very effective for pain and burn very cleanly.

In other news, Ilera opened a new location in Lancaster Pennsylvania and rebranded all stores to their new name: Apothecarium. This has lead to the invention of a new phrase among patients known as “The Lancaster Loop”: Indicating travel between dispensaries in Lancaster (Cure/Apothecarium) and Harvest of Reading which has a locations on Lancaster Avenue and 5th Street Highway. I am learning this travel path is far more common than I realized.

Hopefully in the coming months we will see the prices continue to fall- the best advice I can offer is to vote with your dollars and refrain from purchasing overpriced products and please remain indoors as much as possible.

Kindest Regards,

Ren Anderson
Editor in Chief

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