Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of stories on medical cannabis and how its legalization will impact Pennsylvanians.
PITTSBURGH — It’s been a year since Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill making medical marijuana legal in Pennsylvania planting the seeds of capitalism in a new industry. Now one of the biggest signs that this industry could be about to explode was seen Friday along the banks of the Allegheny River. Now the two biggest movements in the state are to step up education about the benefits of the drug and connecting various groups together to help launch the industry.
The Steel City played host to the first ever World Medical Cannabis Conference and Expo inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Friday and Saturday. About 3,000 people were expected to attend the event, which featured about 150 different vendors and included several panel discussions with industry leaders on topics like the use of cannabis to treat opioid addiction, the medical benefits of cannabis among professional athletes and children.
Among those in attendance included former Eagles offensive guard Todd Herremans and Lindie Snider, a medical marijuana financial investor and daughter of the late Ed Snider, the owner of the Flyers and former chairman of Comcast Spectacor.
A major theme of the conference was education. Since Act 16 was signed into law, legalizing medical marijuana April 17, 2016, some have felt in the dark as to how the new laws might affect them. For many, the expo was an opportunity to shed some light on the subject.