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Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Law

The intractable symptoms of serious medical conditions like multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), autism, Crohn’s disease, Huntington’s disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS), Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, intractable pain, sickle cell anemia, terminal illness, anxiety disorders, and other neuropathies and neurodegenerative diseases qualify patients for medical marijuana treatment in Pennsylvania.

Through a quick online process, qualified PA residents can obtain state-issued medical marijuana ID cards. Over 700,000 patients are listed in the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s marijuana registry as of May 2022.

Patients who use marijuana for medical purposes have more rights than recreational users, but they still need to follow relevant regulations. Understanding your rights and obligations is crucial if you want to gain and keep access to medical marijuana.

The background of Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana regulations, pertinent laws, and frequently asked questions concerning the state’s program are all covered in this article. You can make the most of your experience as a patient by being aware of the legalities around the possession and usage of medicinal marijuana.

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Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Law History

The Medical Marijuana Act, passed by Pennsylvania in 2016, makes cannabis lawful for some patients to use to treat their symptoms. The medical program is regulated by the legislative framework created by state officials that year.

Thereafter, state lawmakers established requirements for producers and dispensaries, laid forth criteria for patients’ eligibility, and developed a procedure to accredit doctors to recommend cannabis. In February 2018, the first medical marijuana transaction occurred.

The original legislation had 18 exclusions and outlawed the sale of marijuana flower. In April 2018, new rules were released by the Department of Health (DOH), which oversees the medical marijuana program.

While smoking marijuana is still prohibited, the expansion permitted the sale of herbal cannabis, which can only be vaporized by patients. The DOH expanded the list of qualified ailments by including cancer remission therapy, opioid addiction therapy, neurological diseases, and spastic movement disorders.

Additionally, the DOH stated in 2018 that it would not provide law enforcement agencies with information about patients. The right of patients to own firearms is safeguarded by this ruling. Since marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, patients who use medical marijuana risk losing their right to possess firearms. PA is one of the few states that provides this protection.

Marijuana Possession Laws in Pennsylvania

Cardholders are permitted to keep up to a 90-day supply of medical marijuana on hand, according PA state law. Depending on the cap established by your doctor during your medical marijuana consultation, your dosage will vary. Patients are not allowed to possess marijuana obtained from places other than authorized dispensaries or to exceed the aforementioned 90-day limit.

Possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana by a non-cardholder is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine and 30 days in prison. Penalties for subsequent violations and possession of greater quantities are harsher.

Pennsylvania Public Consumption Laws

Marijuana use in public is prohibited, regardless of your patient status. Patients must use medical cannabis in their own homes or other private residences. Employers are not required to allow patients to use marijuana products on their property, although they can. Before bringing cannabis to work, confirm your employer’s rules.

The federal prohibition of cannabis makes its use illegal on federal property, including government buildings and public housing.

Pennsylvania Cannabis DUI Laws

The use of motor vehicles by drivers while under the influence of cannabis is forbidden in PA. The legal limit for a DUI in Pennsylvania is 1ng/ml of THC metabolites in the blood. When there is a suspicion of driving under the influence, law enforcement can pull over drivers.

First offenses are misdemeanors, which include a minimum sentence of 72 hours in jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, and completion of a traffic safety course. Increased minimum penalties, up to a mandatory one-year jail sentence, are applied to subsequent DUI offenses.

Applying for a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card?

The DOH issues and oversees Pennsylvania medical marijuana cards. Any resident who is at least 18 years old and has a serious medical condition on the state-approved list may submit an application to join the registry.

Online registration with the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program is the first step of the application process. To create an account, you’ll need an email address and a Pennsylvania driver’s license or state identification card that displays your home address. Your patient ID number, which links to your certificate, will be generated by the system once you’ve been enrolled.

After that, you can see a medicinal marijuana physician. To recommend marijuana, providers must undergo specific training. An approved doctors list is available from the DOH. Telehealth services can be used to complete your consultation for medical marijuana.

You can log into your account after the visit and pay the $50 application fee. If your application is accepted, the DOH will process it within seven days and mail the card to your home address within 14 days.

The Sanctuary can assist you with your application and provide any information you may need regarding the Pennsylvania medicinal marijuana program. We can also put you in touch with a qualified medical marijuana physician who can issue your certificate. Then, with our assistance, you can finish your application and start making purchases of medical cannabis products as soon as you receive your MMJ card from the state.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. Governor Shapiro put a line item for legalizing marijuana for recreational use in the budget for 2023, and lawmakers are debating ideas, but no legislation is currently on the table. The earliest recreational sales might start in January 2025 if lawmakers take legislative action soon.

Legislators will probably take action to protect patients’ rights as part of any future recreational program. Cardholders typically have higher possession limits and greater access in jurisdictions where marijuana is legal for both medicinal and recreational use.

Marijuana that has been acquired from an authorized dispensary is legal to possess. Patients have access to pills, tinctures, liquids, oils, gels, lotions, ointments, gels, and botanical cannabis for vaping. These goods come in a variety of potencies and strains. There are several options available to patients at dispensaries.

Edibles and herbal cannabis for smoking are prohibited. These items are not offered by authorized dispensaries. If you purchase edibles, the production and growing processes are not held to any quality or safety standards.

It is legally forbidden to possess marijuana obtained from sources other than authorized dispensaries or another card-carrying patient. .

Patients with state-issued MMJ cards can possess up to a 90-day supply of medical cannabis at one time. The dose required to treat the symptoms of your significant medical condition will be determined by your doctor.

During your medical marijuana consultation, it’s crucial to be honest and thorough about how your symptoms affect your life. Your willingness to be transparent will ensure that your cannabis purchase cap will be sufficient.

Non-Pennsylvania medical marijuana cards are not accepted at PA dispensaries. Also, due to the federal prohibition on cannabis, it is unlawful to move marijuana across state lines, even if you have a valid medical card.

Yes–the PA medical marijuana registry does not run a background check on anyone applying for an MMJ card. However, since the application for caregivers requires a background check, you cannot apply to be one if you have a felony.