Updated on January 24, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Patients in Pennsylvania diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions, are afforded legal protection under the Pennsylvania medical marijuana law, as per Senate Bill 3— “The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program”:
On April 12, 2016, Senate Bill 3 was approved by the Senate, and by the House on April 13, 2016, and was signed into law on April 17, 2016, effectively removing all state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a signed recommendation from their physician stating that marijuana “may mitigate” his/her debilitating medical symptoms.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has indicated that the implementation of the state’s Medical Marijuana Program, is expected to take between 18-24 months. Once established, qualified patients with a physician’s recommendation must register with the state DOH — once registered, the patient will receive a Pennsylvania medical marijuana identification card, with which, they may purchase medical marijuana from an authorized state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary. Currently, in the state of Pennsylvania, there are about 18 physicians approved to recommend medical marijuana in the following counties: Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County. Over 100 physicians have been approved in the state of PA as a whole.
Approved Medical Marijuana Forms:
Some medical marijuana patients will claim they have a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are in fact illegal. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. Therefore doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana physicians will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.
Under Pennsylvania medical marijuana law, “medical marijuana may only be dispensed to a patient or caregiver in the following forms: (i) pill; (ii) oil; (iii) topical forms, including gel, creams or ointments; (iv) a form medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization, excluding dry leaf or plant form… (v) tincture; or (vi) liquid. Unless otherwise provided in regulations adopted by the department under section 1202, medical marijuana may not be dispensed to a patient or a caregiver in dry leaf or plant form.”
In April 2017, state regulators proposed the establishment of an online physicians’ registry that would make it much easier for patients who meet medical marijuana qualifications in Pennsylvania to find doctors who can recommend medical weed. The Pennsylvania Department of Health requested feedback, but they made it clear that doctors would not be required to take part in either the registry or the state’s medical cannabis program as a whole. If they do decide to participate in the registry, doctors will have to complete a four-hour training course.
Doctors who are looking to recommend medical marijuana for qualifying patients can now complete the Practitioner Registry to participate in the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program.
Turn to MarijuanaDoctors.com for information on obtaining a medical cannabis card in Pennsylvania, meeting medical marijuana qualifications in Pennsylvania or anything else involving medical weed.