SCRANTON, Pa. -- A medical marijuana dispensary in Scranton is among 16 around the state now offering the drug in dry leaf form.
Patients were lined up here before the place even opened Wednesday morning.
Many did not want to be identified.
"Dry leaf in PA is a big deal and it's the first time for dry leaf and I'd like to be a part of it and see what it does,” said one man.
"It gives you more variety to pick from the specific strains that will help you best, for example, a strain so it doesn't make you drowsy during the day and it keeps you going,” said another.
A dispensary in Williamsport is selling dry leaf pot, as well.
Twelve more dispensaries including one in Edwardsville in Luzerne County will have dry leaf available next week.
State officials made the change because they say dry leaf pot is more affordable.
An official with Columbia Care PA in Scranton says "The introduction of dry leaf…eliminates some of the processing costs associated with other finished product."
Dry leaf is expected to cost between $16 and $22 per gram.
"If they need it and it's more affordable for them, I think anything that helps someone not be in pain or whatever the reasons are for it, if they need it and a medical doctor says they need it then it should be available for them,” said Shannon Wijaya of Roaring Brook Township.
Until now, medical marijuana was sold at dispensaries in forms like oils and pills.
Dispensary officials say dry leaf is effective more quickly, often taking just seconds compared to pills which can take more than an hour, though it is not necessarily more potent than other forms of marijuana.
"I suffer from Parkinson’s and post-traumatic stress disorder, I take between 12 to 15 pills every day and I want to get off of some of this medication, you know? Go back to something more holistic,” one woman said.
According to state law, patients who are approved to uses dry leaf medical marijuana are not allowed to smoke it. They must use a vaporizer.
For more information from the Department of Health and the full list of dispensaries, click here.