Pennsylvania’s compassionate medical marijuana legislation (SB 3) was signed into law on April 17th 2016 by Gov. Tom Wolf and aims to be the most medical focused marijuana program in the country. SB 3 passed with bipartisan support, will create a advisory board to make recommendations to the Department of Health as the program is implemented. The Department will oversee a medically driven program through repeatable, controlled dosage, non-combustible products for patients.
17 Serious Medical Conditions Approved for the Medical Marijuana program in PA
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
Damage to Nervous Tissue of Spinal Cord
Severe chronic or intractable pain
Sickle Cell Anemia
APPROVED FORMS OF CONSUMPTION
Medically Appropriate forms of Vaporization or Nebulization
WHO WILL BE ABLE TO OBTAIN MEDICAL MARIJUANA?
Under the Medical Marijuana Program, patients who are residents of the commonwealth and have a serious medical condition as certified by a physician will be able to obtain medical marijuana at approved dispensaries that are located in the commonwealth and have a validly-issued permit from the department. A “caregiver” who is designated by the patient and approved by the department will be able to obtain medical marijuana from an approved dispensary located in the commonwealth that has a validly-issued permit from the department in order for the caregiver to deliver medical marijuana to the patient.
WHO IS CONSIDERED A “CAREGIVER” UNDER THE ACT?
The Act defines a “caregiver” as an individual, 21 years of age or older unless otherwise authorized by the department, who is designated by a patient or, if the patient is under 18 years of age, an individual that is a parent or legal guardian of the patient, or an individual designated by a parent or legal guardian, or an appropriate individual approved by the department upon a sufficient showing that no parent or legal guardian is appropriate or available. Caregivers must undergo a criminal history background check, submit an application to the department for an identification card, and be registered with the department. The department will make applications for caregivers available on its website.
HOW MAY PATIENTS PARTICIPATE IN THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA PROGRAM?
In order to participate in the Medical Marijuana Program, patients must:
1. Register with the department.
2. Obtain a physician’s certification that they suffer from one of the serious medical conditions defined in the Act.
3. Apply for a medical marijuana ID card and submit the application fee.
4. Obtain medical marijuana from an approved dispensary located in the commonwealth that has a valid permit issued by the department.
(This process is still being developed by the department. The department will communicate with the public as the registration process becomes available.)