Department of Health, cannabis users reflect on first year of medical marijuana


Much like its patients, Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program has had some pains. 

“At the beginning, there were some concerns over cost. This isn’t something that is covered by insurance. This is something that you have to pay out-of-pocket for because it’s a schedule one drug, federally,” said Nate Wardle, press secretary, Department of Health. 

This pain will likely ease during the program’s second year, when more growers and processers come aboard. 

“We have 13 more that will become operational throughout this year. As they become operational, we expect that to continue to drive prices down,” Wardle said. 

If the Department of Health is pleased with the first year of the program, Rise Steelton is over the moon. 

“We see miracles every day,” said Taylor Reynolds, medical marijuana user, employee with Rise Steelton. 

Reynolds suffers from endometriosis.

“I can definitely tell when I’m in my more trying times if I don’t use my medical cannabis I’m in a world of pain,” Reynolds said. 

Another employee, Chai Kline, was diagnosed with Crohn’s her freshman year. 

“I woke up sluggish all the time, not a whole lot of energy, but using the medical cannabis has helped significantly — I did a 180,” Kline said. 

They said their personal trainer triumphs are great, but their clients are their livelihood. 

“If anybody takes a look at any one of our patient’s lives and just sees the growth and positive changes, there’s no question,” Reynolds said. 

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