PA Marijuana Dispensary Guide
Regulated Cannabis Program Overview
Type of program: Medical only
On January 20, 2015, the first steps toward a workable medical marijuana program were being taken when Constable Ed Quiggle Jr. signed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Reform Resolution. According to Wikipedia, the act represented a policy of tolerance and called for an end to stringent regulations that “prohibit, penalize, or criminalize the possession, cultivation, or use of medical cannabis, hemp, cannabinoids, and other illegal or experimental drugs, becoming the first law enforcement agency in Pennsylvania, and perhaps the first in the United States, to enact such a policy.”
In April of 2016, Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana with the implementation of Senate Bill 3. The new law opened the doors to production, processing, and, most importantly, the sale of medical marijuana specifically for patients suffering from one of 17 qualifying conditions.
On February 15, 2018, less than two years after the governor signed Act 16 into law, medical marijuana dispensaries opened their doors to patients and their caregivers. At the time, Pennsylvania was expected to become one of the biggest medical marijuana markets in the U.S.
Initially, the sale of dried cannabis flower was prohibited but that law was eventually overturned. However, only vaping of the product was legalized.
On May 12, 2018, the Health Department published a revision of the regulations, adding some much-needed improvements to the medical cannabis program. The revision effectively expanded the qualifying conditions to include medical marijuana as a viable substitute therapy for opiate addiction.
Since February of 2018, patients with a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card have spent more than $1.1 billion at Pennsylvania dispensaries.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the state’s 100th medical marijuana dispensary opened in Chester in early December 2020. The following weeks into 2021 saw the opening of two more storefronts in York and Hazleton.
The medical marijuana industry in Pennsylvania has plenty of room for potential growth, eventually allowing a total of 198 dispensaries to open in the state.
At present, only 50 permits will be issued by the department and each may have only three separate locations.
“Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program continues to be a leader for the country in terms of program growth and its first-in-the-nation research program,” Secretary of Health Rachel Levine said in a statement. “Reaching 100 operational dispensaries is a milestone for the program, but we know there is much work to do.”
Medical marijuana products available at PA Dispensaries
Cannabis-infused vape oil
Cannabis-infused topicals (gels, creams, ointments)
There is no law prohibiting patients from making their own edibles or cannabis products using cannabis purchased from licensed dispensaries.
Marijuana Deliveries RX: available
Pennsylvania permits online ordering from open and home delivery of medical marijuana to patients holding a Pennsylvania medical marihuana card.
In March 2020, medical marijuana dispensaries were deemed “essential businesses” and allowed home delivery for all Pennsylvania medical marijuana patients.
Pennsylvania marijuana laws
Transporting cannabis in Pennsylvania
Medical marijuana may be transported within state lines in Pennsylvania, only by the patient or designated caregiver, and must only be at or under the amount of the 30 day supply allotted. If transporting marijuana in a car, it should remain in the trunk or in a sealed container, out of reach.
Public consumption laws in Pennsylvania
In the state of Pennsylvania, public consumption of medical marijuana is prohibited. The only allowable locations for consumption are homes and private residences. In some cases your place of employment may permit consumption under Pennsylvania Law, however, this is not a common scenario.
Home cultivation: prohibited
Social consumption: prohibited
At this time there are no “social lounges” for the consumption of marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania.
Guns and Medical Cards in PA
When it comes to marijuana, state and federal laws don’t always jive. More than a third of U.S. states have legalized marijuana regardless of the fact that the plant is federally illegal. Unfortunately for gun owners, that disparity also exists when it comes to gun-related laws…..Read More Here
Marijuana-related DUI laws in Pennsylvania
Driving while under the influence of medical marijuana is a serious offense and is considered to be no different than a DUI in Pennsylvania. Violations of this nature may result in fines, arrest, criminal records, and community service time.
Pennsylvania hemp and CBD laws
Marijuana doctors in Pennsylvania
If a physician wishes to participate in the Medical Marijuana Program in Pennsylvania, they must create a profile in the Department of Health Physician Registry. The next step would require validation of the physician’s Pennsylvania medical license by the Department of State.
The Department of Health will then require the physician to complete a 4-hour training seminar. At the completion of the training, the Department of Health will issue a final review and if deemed satisfactory, the physician will then be allowed to issue patient certifications.
How to get a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania
The first step toward obtaining a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card is to create a profile in the Medical Marijuana Registry.
Patients must be a legal resident of Pennsylvania to apply.
Patients must have a driver’s license or an ID issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Once a profile is added to the Registry, a patient must then find a certified doctor registered with the Department of Health. The doctor must determine that the patient has a qualifying medical condition and could benefit from medical marijuana.
The medical marijuana certification is issued during a visit.
After the registration process is complete, the Pennsylvania Department of Health will mail patients an official medical marijuana card within 14 days.
Renew a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card
Medical marijuana cards in Pennsylvania are valid for one year. Patients may use their card until the expiration date.
Patients need an annual certification from a qualified doctor but are not required to see the same doctor every year.
Patients will receive a reminder email when their card is about to expire more than 60 days prior to expiration.
Patients must be over the age of 18 with a qualifying condition to access medical marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania.
Patients under the age of 18 may access the program via a legal guardian or designated caregiver.
These are the rules for medical marijuana caregivers in Pennsylvania:
Must be at least 21 years of age.
Minor patients (under the age of 18) are required to have a parent or legal representative serve as their caregiver.
Caregivers can service up to five qualifying patients.
The registration fee for caregivers is $50.
Pennsylvania allows patients to obtain medical marijuana cards via telemedicine. However, not all doctors will agree to a video conference examination.
All information in regard to registration in a medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania is completely confidential and exempt from public disclosure under the Right-to-know Law. If a medical marijuana organization or practitioner is guilty of disclosure, disciplinary actions will be taken
Sign Up for a Medical Cannabis Card
For potential medical marijuana patients we make it easy to connect with a recommending doctor near you, or online. You will also receive updates & news relative to medical marijuana in general.
If you are interested please fill out the MMJ patient registration form to get started. Legal Residents Only Please