MMJ or Steel, Can Cannabis Cure Pennsylvania’s Economic Woes?


Once a major manufacturing hub of the now defunct U.S. steel industry, communities throughout Pennsylvania are pinning their hopes of an economic recovery to the state’s newest business model – medical marijuana.

A fiscally distressed community since steel packed up and left the City of Braddock over 25 years ago, there is now a sense of renewed optimism as the city council officially endorsed Laurel Green Medical on Tuesday night. Located in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh’s Allegheny County, the state sanctioned producer of medical marijuana will dot their i’s and cross their t’s as they prepare to submit an official application on next Monday. Competing for one of two grow-op permits that will be awarded to the southwest region of Pennsylvania, Braddock’s Mayor John Fetterman acknowledges the time to invest in medical marijuana is now, according to

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Permits And Regions

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Permits And Regions

“The small subset of people that are afraid of marijuana I think is continuing to dwindle, and I think we’re moving as a nation to just taking the appropriate steps and just getting it over with and legalizing it.”

If approved, Laurel Green would build a 100,000-square-foot grow-op on a five-acre site where a once dilapidated housing project stood; Laurel Green would acquire the land under a lease-purchase agreement.

According to online reports, Denver-based consultant Greg Gamet has been tapped to supervise the cultivation operation for Laurel Green. At full capacity, the Pennsylvanian grow-op would maintain approximately “17,000 plants from which it can cultivate 20,000 pounds of marijuana and extract 3,000 pounds of oil on a yearly basis.”

Great for the local workforce, Laurel Green would create nearly 70 full-time positions and germinate approximately $1M in new tax revenue in a borough with a “$1.85 million annual budget.”

(Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett)

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Born in Long Beach, raised on the central coast: I surf, dab, burn, and blog – though not necessarily in that order. I'm a husband, a father and a lifelong consumer of connoisseur grade weed. I don't drink alcohol or consume any other "drugs." I consider myself to be living proof that weed is not a gateway drug. If it were, I'd be in some serious trouble. Instead, as a 50-year-old ex-realtor that has been smoking weed for nearly 80% of my life (just did the math) ... I can only say, marijuana is safer than prescription pills or alcohol could ever hope to be for calming what stirs the savage beast.

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