Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has recently made marijuana legal for medical use, removing all state-level penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who have a valid, signed recommendation from their physician stating that marijuana may mitigate his/her debilitating medical symptoms. Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Programme (MMP) will likely come into effect in 2017/2018 and, once established, must register with the state’s Department of Health (DOH) for a Medical Marijuana Card (MMC).

 

Dr. Frank cannot practice in Pennsylvania. However, out-of-state medical patients visiting California can book an appointment with Dr. Frank and get seen on- or off- line for a medical marijuana card. We recommend doing so as soon as possible if you think medical marijuana will help. You do not need to see your primary care physician in order to get a MMC in Pennsylvania – you can get one via telemedicine without a prior relationship to your primary doctor.

In the meantime, here’s a guide to getting a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania …

Telehealth/In-Person

No real regulations in place as of yet. Legislation is pending in HB 491, and physicians are expected to keep to a standard of practice.

Cost

$50

How Old Do I Have to Be to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card?

18 years old or over. Caregivers must be 18 years old or over.

How Long Does it take to Get My MMJ Card?

Expect 30 – 60 days, as the medical marijuana program needs time to get started.

Possession Limit (Medical Marijuana Patients)

30-day supply, which is determined by physician. Only cannabis-infused oils, pills, tinctures, topicals and other ointments, tinctures or liquids are allowed.

Qualifying Conditions

  • Cancer
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Spinal Cord Damage/Injury
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS)
  • Neuropathies
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Intractable Seizures
  • Glaucoma
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Severe Pain
  • Autism
  • Terminally Ill, with 1 Year or Less to Live
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Medical Marijuana Laws

2016 – Senate Bill 3 (SB 3) is approved and signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf.  State-level penalties for the possession, use and cultivation of cannabis by those with a valid medical marijuana recommendation and card are removed. Patients must register with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH). Physicians must complete the Practitioner Registry in order to participate in the medical marijuana program.

A 30-day supply of cannabis oils, tinctures, topical ointments, pills or liquids are allowed.

Home cultivation is prohibited.

Up to 25 growers/producers and 50 dispensaries are allowed to be operational at any one time.

No state-licensed dispensaries are operating as of yet.

A caregiver program is in operation. Caregivers must be aged 21 or over. Medical marijuana applicants must be aged 18 or over in order to apply for themselves.

“If a parent or guardian of a minor under 18 years of age lawfully obtains medical marijuana from another state, territory of the United States or any other country to be administered to the minor.”

There is likely to be some reciprocity when medical marijuana dispensaries are operational and patients are registered. This is not complete as of yet, and Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana laws haven’t taken effect as of yet.

For those without a medical marijuana card, possession of 30 g or less (8 g or less of hash) is a misdemeanor that carries a potential incarceration period of  30 days and a max fine of up to $500. Possession of more than 30 g is a misdemeanor, with up to 1 year imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.

First possession conviction is eligible for conditional release. Subsequent convictions can lead to a double penalty.

Gifting 30 g or marijuana for no remuneration is treated as possession of 30 g or less.

Cultivation of any number of plants is a felony, with between 1 and 5 years imprisonment and a $15,000 fine.

Penalties and fines for possession, sale or distribution of hash are the same as for marijuana.

Sale or possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, with up to 1 year imprisonment and a $2,500 fine.

Driving privileges may be suspended for the sale, distribution or possession of any controlled substance.

Courts are advised to push for maximum fines.

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