Medical Marijuana

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Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card

In May of 2018, Pennsylvania passed a bill allowing medical marijuana to be accessible for those who need it.

Since the passing of that bill, the state has issued more than 100,000 identification cards to patients and caregivers. The law allows for 25 growers/processors and 50 dispensaries within the state.

In order to qualify as a medical marijuana patient in Pennsylvania, you must have been diagnosed with one or more of 17 conditions specified by the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program.

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card
Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card

These conditions include: cancer, AIDS/HIV, glaucoma, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, nail patella, severe chronic or intractable pain, Parkinson’s Disease, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, and severe nausea.

In this article, we will discuss everything about Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana card, from benefits to patient rights and more.

Medical Marijuana Doctors in Pennsylvania

Getting your Pennsylvania medical marijuana card can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you are unable to find the help of professional medical marijuana doctors.

There is no hard-and-fast procedure for consulting with physicians that prescribe medical marijuana cards, but you must meet with one before applying for your card. Unfortunately, locating one can be difficult since there are some strict guidelines governing who can recommend cannabis-related medications.

For instance, your doctor must have an active license from the state and have completed four hours of CME courses about medicinal weed.

If you want to find a qualified medical marijuana doctor, you can contact your local medical society for recommendations. There are also some online resources such as MarijuanaDoctors which may be of some assistance.

Applying for a Medical Marijuana Card

In order to apply for a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card, new patients must first have their doctor’s recommendation.

Next, you must go to the Pennsylvania Department of Health website to download, print, and fill out the application for a medical marijuana card.

In addition to the application, you will need to include a copy of your photo ID or PA driver’s license, proof of residency in the state, and payment (money order or cashier’s check).

You must be at least 21 years of age, and the state will run a background check before adding you to the official medical marijuana registry as someone with patient certification and a patient ID number.

Then you must send the completed application along with the additional documentation to the following address:

Pennsylvania Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program P.O. Box 3785 Harrisburg, PA 17105-3785

Pennsylvania Dispensaries for Medical Marijuana Patients

It’s vital that you understand how to find legal dispensaries in cities such as Lancaster, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.

Many of those who want a medical marijuana ID card lack the necessary knowledge about how and where they can obtain it. That’s where legal dispensaries come in.

All of the state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in PA are listed on the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program’s website.

As of 2018, there are over sixty open dispensaries throughout the state, with more opening all the time. Being able to find a dispensary near you can accelerate the process of obtaining your medical marijuana card.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana Treatment

In order to qualify for medical cannabis in PA, you must have been diagnosed with one of the 17 necessary serious medical conditions by a healthcare provider who is registered with the state.

Some of the conditions not yet approved by the state include Huntington’s Disease, inflammatory bowel disease, sickle cell anemia, Tourette Syndrome, and anxiety disorders. The following list outlines the 17 conditions that can qualify you for treatment.

Cancer

29 states have legalized cannabis to treat cancer, with PA amongst them. Although cancer has been known to be one of the most painful diseases on Earth, there is evidence that cannabinoids can reduce pain and nausea while improving appetite and mood, both of which help cancer patients cope with the effects of chemotherapy.

HIV/AIDS

As of May of 2018, more than 30 states have passed laws legalizing weed for medicinal use. The state of Pennsylvania is among those states. That means that if you are diagnosed with HIV or AIDS within those states’ boundaries, you’ll be eligible for medical marijuana (provided your doctor recommends it).

Glaucoma

In addition to Pennsylvania’s qualifying conditions, a healthcare provider may recommend medical cannabis as a form of treatment if a patient is diagnosed with glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease that slowly damages the optic nerve, eventually leading to blindness if left untreated.

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

This condition, also known as ALS, is a progressive neurological disorder that leads to muscle weakness and progressively worsens until the patient’s respiratory functions cease.

Alzheimer's Disease

Much like glaucoma, Alzheimer’s is another progressive brain disease that causes memory loss and confusion. If you or a loved one has Alzheimer’s, you may be eligible for medical marijuana to help combat its effects.

Nail Patella

This pain that affects the hands, feet, and knees is a condition that can be treated with medical cannabis.

Severe Chronic or Intractable Pain

Pain with neuropathic origins or intractable pain that can’t be mediated by conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy qualifies for medical marijuana treatment.

If you are diagnosed with either of these neuropathic pain conditions, you may qualify for medical marijuana.

Parkinson's Disease

This condition is another neurodegenerative disease that causes uncontrollable tremors in the hands or limbs, the rigidity of muscles, slowness of movements, and impaired balance and coordination.

Multiple Sclerosis

Without a doubt, medical cannabis can be an effective tool in the fight against this chronic autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord.

Crohn's Disease

This chronic inflammatory bowel condition tends to cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and loss of appetite. Your doctor may recommend using cannabis for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Autism

Recent studies show cannabis can be an effective treatment for autism. If your doctor thinks it may help, they can recommend you to the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program.

Epileptic Seizures (In Some Cases)

If your doctor feels medical marijuana could help reduce your intractable spasticity or intractable seizures, you may be eligible to use it to treat your epilepsy.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

As of May 2018, Pennsylvania is one of 30 states that has legalized weed for medicinal use. If you are diagnosed with PTSD within the state limits, your approved physician can recommend medical cannabis for treatment.

Severe Nausea

The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program allows you to treat your severe nausea with medical cannabis.

Frequently Asked Questions

Medical marijuana is completely safe to use and can help relieve the symptoms of your medical conditions.

The only difference between using medical weed to treat your condition and taking other medications such as opioids is that it cannot cause any damage or harm.

No–you must be a resident of the state in order to apply for a medical marijuana card.

You will need to either move to Pennsylvania or show proof that you are about to relocate in order to apply.

You must renew your card every year in order to keep it active. This is done simply by re-downloading, printing, and submitting the application to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

You do not need any additional medical records or recommendations from your doctor for this process.

Conclusion

Pennsylvania residents can apply for a medical marijuana card in order to legally use cabbanis products for medicinal treatment.

If you have been diagnosed with one of the qualifying conditions, then your healthcare provider can fill out and submit the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program online application on your behalf.

After that, you may choose from one of the many open dispensaries throughout the state, to obtain medical marijuana.