State bans dispensaries from joining cannabis festival

Associated Press
The public is greeted York County's second medical marijuana dispensary, RISE York, during an open house at 4395 West Market St. in West Manchester Township, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

SCRANTON – The Pennsylvania Department of Health has banned dispensaries from participating in one of the state’s largest cannabis festivals.

A spokesperson for the department tells The Philadelphia Inquirer they issued the ban because the Pennsylvania Cannabis Festival in Scranton is not a “medically focused event.”

Festival organizer Jeff Zick says he stands to lose tens of thousands of dollars after dispensaries paid more than $8,000 each to set up booths at the festival.

About 10,000 people are expected to attend the fifth annual free event held April 20.

Dispensary owner Chris Visco says he believes there is a perception that “a bunch of stoners” were heading to Scranton, which is not the festival’s intention.

Zick says he believes they can work something out before the festival.