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Despite Popularity, Cannabis Inequities Remain Unaddressed

Across eye-catching billboards and pop-up signs peppered along the busy sidewalks of Lawrenceville, more and more advertisements are sounding a call for a product with a storied and long-debated history: cannabis. Since Pennsylvania’s legalization of medical marijuana in 2016, the numbers of patients seeking relief through medical marijuana treatment has expanded exponentially: growers that planned on 50,000 patients in the first year were stunned when more than 100,000 people signed up. Now, according to Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program’s latest report, more than one million patient certifications have been issued to individuals seeking marijuana for relief from serious medical conditions, and that number continues to rise across the state.

For many, medical marijuana offers a helpful relief for symptoms of anxiety and depression. In fact, in 2021, anxiety disorders were a factor in 60% of the medical cards issued that year. Other qualifying conditions range from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), to Crohn’s Disease, to chemotherapy side effects and much more.

Patients are able to seek out medical marijuana treatment for health conditions by registering on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website, visiting an approve