Last week, my Uber driver tried to sell me some weed; or, more specifically, he tried to sell me something called “Orange Monkey Creamsicle,” assuring me it was “absolute fire.” I declined, but ended up saving his phone number anyway, figuring that it couldn’t hurt.
While it’s true that Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana back in 2016, recreational use remains out of reach (although an upcoming bill could change that). When it comes to buying weed, most people — even many of those who actually have a prescription — are still relying on the old, shady methods. So, don’t plan on deleting your dealer’s number anytime soon.
That being said, change rarely happens all at once, and the Medical Marijuana Program (signed into law on April 17, 2016), was undoubtedly a step in the right direction. But how big a step? To get a sense of how much movement has been made on Pennsylvania’s weed front, I spoke with some experts on all things cannabis: Chris Goldstein, who teaches “Marijuana in the News” at Temple University and writes the Philly420 column for Philly.com, and Russ Cersosimo, chairman of the Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Society. These bud pundits walked me through the ins and outs of legal weed in the Keystone State.
Where Are the Dispensaries, and What Can I Buy?
Give or take a few, there are over 40 marijuana dispensaries open in Pennsylvania at the time of this writing, with even more in the process of opening. But don’t expect the vibe of a California pot shop.
First and foremost, there is no actual flower (cannabis plant material) sold in Pennsylvania dispensaries. Fortunately, that sad fact may be changing within a year or so, now that the state’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board has voted to recommend the sale of dry leaves. So there’s hope. For the time being, though, all products in PA dispensaries are concentrated resins and oils. This is very much a no-smoke situation, meaning nothing sold at the weed counter is bong-friendly, and you won’t be rolling it in a blunt or joint.
However, the state is pro-vaping, so you’ll be able to pick up vape-pen cartridges. Among the many other forms of weed sold in pot shops are pills, creams, ointments, tinctures, and liquids. There’s also “shatter,” a highly potent, glassy form of cannabis concentrate that sort of looks like the tree sap from Jurassic Park, minus the mosquito. You can learn more about shatter in our comprehensive guide to cannabis concentrates, and the dabbers who use them.
Below are the dispensaries that form reasonable part of the Pennsylvania medical marijuana industry.
957 Frankford Ave; Philadelphia, PA 19125
8003 Old York Rd; Elkins Park, PA 19027
1125 E Passyunk Ave; Philadelphia, PA 19147
19 Baltimore Street; Gettysburg, PA 17325
1222 Brady Street; DuBois, PA 15801
514 Pleasant Valley Blvd; Altoona, PA 16602
1206 Sansom Street; Philadelphia, PA 19107
2412 Durham Rd; Bristol, PA 19007
4502 City Ave; Philadelphia , PA 19131
1866-1890 Fruitville Pike; Lancaster, PA 17601
500 Kimberton Rd; Phoenixville, PA 19460
201 Pillow Street Butler, PA 16001
4 Kensington Sq; New Kensington, PA 15068
420 Plymouth Road; Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
5600 Forward Ave; Pittsburgh, PA 15217
22095 Perry Hwy, Suite 301; Zelienople, PA 16063