Erie's first medical marijuana dispensary is set to open in a matter of days, just as a state board is recommending the sale of the plant form of pot.

Medical marijuana is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. And next week, a company in Erie is set to be the first to bring the treatment option to people in our area.

Rise Erie will open for patients next Wednesday. But before that, Green Thumb Industries, or GTI, will hold an open house for the public to come check out its new facility on west 8th street, in Erie.

Starting next week, they will sell medical marijuana to patients who have been certified by an approved doctor.

Currently, Pennsylvania only allows for the sale of medical marijuana in forms like oils, extracts, and pills.

But Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Advisory Board just voted in favor of allowing the sale of marijuana in "dry leaf or plant form," at all of the state's medical marijuana dispensaries, including Erie's.

The vote is just a recommendation, which would allow users to vaporize and inhale it.

And because that involves less processing, it's quicker to make, more affordable, and may be faster-acting.

So GTI says it would benefit both them and their patients, "The actual bud, the leaf, the flower, that is what we harvest now and use in our extraction equipment to make the oils and to make the vapes and those products," said Jill Beck of GTI. "Through the extraction process, some of the THC is removed and the CBD's (cannabidiol) are extracted and separated... It is a very technical process, and the approval of flower means we wont have to go through that extraction process," Beck continued.

Rise Erie will host an open house Monday, for the public to come check out the new facility. It's from 10:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at their facility located at 2108 west 8th street.

 And as far as how soon we could see the plant form in dispensaries? It's ultimately up to the PA Secretary of Health, who has up to a year to decide.