Pa. medical marijuana grower lays off dozens, says industry taken over by out-of-staters

Suprise surprise MSOs doing the Starbucks thing…..Good to see they’ll try and fight the predators.

A Johnstown-based medical marijuana grower has reportedly laid off or cut the hours of 50 of its 110 employees, saying the state has allowed big, out-of-state firms to monopolize the industry.

Hanging Gardens and several other independent growers are in the process of filing a lawsuit against the state, a spokeswoman said Thursday.

According to Hanging Gardens owner Steve Kenney, Pennsylvania’s 2016 law legalizing medical marijuana law said only five companies can have both dispensary and grower/processor permits, and no company can operate more than 15 retail locations.

However, he says six multi-state companies own more than half the dispensary permits and five of the six operate more than 15 retail locations.

“I consider the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program to be in collapse,” Kenney said. “The few remaining independent businesses who invested with the promise of fair competition may soon disappear. The existing monopoly has already resulted in some of the highest medical marijuana prices in the country and diminishing patient choice.”

According to reporting by The Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown, the problem stems in part from multi-state companies acquiring other operators, with their size and financial strength giving them an advantage over state-based independents.


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