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About Medicinal Marijuana In Pennsylvania
For four years now, any patient who possesses a signed recommendation from their physician is permitted to possess and use marijuana for medicinal use. On April 12, 2016, Senate Bill 3 was approved by the Senate and then by the House, decriminalizing the use of cannabis among any patient who possesses a Pennsylvania medical marijuana ID card that has been prescribed by a doctor to mitigate the symptoms of a debilitating condition.
To be exempt from possession-related marijuana state laws, patients that qualify must be enrolled in the Medical Marijuana Program. This program was implemented by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) so that patients with serious medical conditions can receive a marijuana identification card that allows them to purchase medical marijuana from an authorized state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary.
In the state of Pennsylvania, there are over 100 physicians that are approved by the DOH to officially recommend patients to the medical marijuana program. These doctors can be found in Montgomery County, Delaware County, and Chester County.
Medical marijuana can be administrated for treatment in the form of oil, pill, liquid, creams and ointments, tincture, or appropriate vaporization.
What Conditions Qualify For A Medical Marijuana Card In Pennsylvania?
To qualify for a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card, you must be suffering a serious medical condition. The following medical conditions have been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
- Anxiety disorders
- Cancer (including remission therapy)
- Crohn’s disease
- Nervous tissue damage to the brain/spinal cord (CNS damage)
- Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders (spasticity)
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Intractable seizures
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Opioid use disorder
- Parkinson’s disease
- Intractable / Chronic pain
- Sickle cell anemia
- Terminal illness
- Tourette syndrome
How To Apply For A Medical Card In PA
If you are affected by any of the conditions on this list, you do not automatically qualify for the program. First, you will need to get a recommendation from a doctor who can certify that you have an approved medical condition and that you are eligible for a medical marijuana ID card.
In addition to being affected by one of the approved conditions, you must be at least 18 years of age (unless a parent or guardian applies on your behalf) and must be a legal resident of the state of Pennsylvania. When you register, you will be required to provide proof of residency.
Participating in the program requires you to take the three following steps:
- Register online
- Get an online recommendation by an approved physician
- Finalize and pay for the application
When you have completed the final step, you will receive your medical marijuana ID card.
Get Registered For Medical Marijuana Online
The first step of the process requires you to register. To do this, you must create a profile in the Medical Marijuana Registry.
This profile requires you to provide basic information such as your legal name, contact information, and current address. You must be able to prove your residency in the state and you are required to possess a Pennsylvania driver’s license or an ID card issued by the PA Department of Transportation.
This profile includes basic information such as your legal name, current address, and contact information. To register for the program, you must have a Pennsylvania driver’s license or an ID card issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
At this stage, you should also begin gathering your medical history. Your MMJ physician will look over all relevant medical documents before they make a recommendation for any patient.
Get An Online Recommendation By A Physician For Cannabis In PA
The next stage after you have registered is to meet with an approved MMJ physician. If your local practitioner has not been approved by the state’s Department of Health as a Medical Marijuana Approved Practitioner, you can schedule a telemedicine appointment with a certified MMJ physician online.
The consultation usually takes between 10-15 minutes. It will be a chance for the patient to talk through cannabis as a treatment option and ask questions.
During the consultation, your physician will review your medical history and if they feel you qualify for the program, they will certify that you suffer from a qualifying medical condition. They will then submit the certification directly to the Medical Marijuana Registry system.
Pay For Your Medical Marijuana ID CARD
Once you have been certified by an approved physician, you are required to return to the Medical Marijuana Registry to complete your application for a medical marijuana ID card. You will be required to bring an electronic copy of a photo ID, a recent digital photograph to be included on your license, and a Visa or Mastercard from payment.
If the MMJ patient is under the age of 18, they are required to have a caregiver apply on their behalf. This caregiver must complete the state’s Safe Harbor Form.
The cost of the ID card is $50. If you participate in assistance programs including Medicaid, PACE/PACENET, CHIP, SNAP, or WIC, you may be eligible for a 50% discount.
Once you have received your card, you will be able to purchase medicinal marijuana from an approved Department of Health medical marijuana dispensary in Pennsylvania.
Additional Info About The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana License
Are Patients With Issued ID Exempt From All Marijuana Laws?
Being a registered member of the PA medical marijuana program does not mean you are exempt from all cannabis laws. Even a registered MMJ patient is legally restricted from doing any of the following:
- Growing/cultivating the plant
- Driving while intoxicated by the effects of marijuana
- Giving or selling marijuana to anybody
- Using marijuana in a public place
- Possessing or using marijuana on a school bus or school grounds
- Smoking cannabis. Dry herbs or buds must be used with a vaporizer
- Utilize medical marijuana in a workplace environment
- Purchase food or drinks infused with marijuana
What Types Of Cannabis Can I Buy In A Dispensary?
In Pennsylvania, it is still forbidden for even a certified patient to smoke the dry flower or herb. If you buy the dry leaf, you can exclusively use it for nebulization or vaporization.
Dispensaries sell cannabis in the following forms:
- Tinctures & liquids
- Topicals such as ointments and patches
- Dry leaf, flower, or plant material
How Long Will It Take Ro Receive My Medical Card Once I Have Registered?
If there are no hiccups with your application, you should receive your marijuana card within 2-3 weeks of making the initial application. To ensure you get your ID within this time, pay extra attention to make sure your paperwork is correct as errors can slow the process down.
Is There A Limit To How Much Marijuana Medical Marijuana Card Holders Can Buy?
There is a 30-day limit on how much marijuana can legally be recommended to a patient by a physician. Being in possession of more than this amount at one is a lawful offense.
Are Minors Allowed To Apply For And Use Medical Marijuana In Pennsylvania?
Minors refer to any patient under the age of 18. Minors are permitted to apply for a medical marijuana card but a parent or legal guardian is required to complete the application on their behalf.
Can I Use Medical Marijuana Anywhere In Pennsylvania?
Your issued ID is valid in Pennsylvania only. Pennsylvania residents may not use medical marijuana in public places and driving while under the influence of the drug is a punishable offense.