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(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania Rep. Melissa Shusterman plans to introduce legislation to allow farmers and small businesses a chance to compete in the medical marijuana market.

The legislation would allow farmers and small business permits to take part in the cultivation of cannabis for medical reasons. 

Shusterman, D-Paoli, wants to give Pennsylvania’s small businesses and farmers a piece of the $1 billion industry that is monopolized in the state by large corporations.

Regulations limiting the number of growers in one zone has given several big corporations an advantage over the industry while causing a supply shortage and price increases, and leaving consumers without the prescription medication they need, Shusterman said.

Shusterman's legislation would alleviate the supply chain situation and lessen the burden on consumers, she said. 

“Pennsylvanians shouldn’t have trouble accessing medication prescribed by a doctor for relief from pain and sickness,” she said. “The restrictions placed on growers and processors hurts small businesses, farmers and patients alike." 

This article originally ran on thecentersquare.com.

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