New director for Pennsylvania’s office of medical marijuana

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has hired a new director of the Office of Medical Marijuana, which has been vacant since the spring. One of her first challenges: bringing down retail prices for patients.

Laura Mentch has been on the job for three weeks and was introduced during Tuesday’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Board quarterly meeting. She replaces Peter Blank, who had been director in an interim role since the inaugural chief, John Collins, retired in March. Mentch has extensive experience as a pharmacist. She has also been a pharmacist at Ayr Wellness Inc. and Nature’s Medicine, two medical marijuana providers, since 2019. She was also a director of pharmacy at Geisinger Medical Center.

“It’s been difficult to find a new director but we were really committed and determined,” said Acting Health Secretary Dr. Denise Johnson. “We needed to find the right fit for the program.”

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