Pennsylvania Enacts Medical Marijuana Program

By: Timothy Bidon

Pennsylvania made waves on Sunday when it became the 24th state in the country to sign a medical marijuana program into law. The Medical Marijuana Act, which was signed by Democratic governor Tom Wolf, is slated to take effect in 30 days with provisions in place to ensure that patients in the state can receive medical marijuana as soon as possible.

The program follows the lead of many other states in taking what is now becoming a trademark “cautious” approach to the program.  Patients in Pennsylvania can only be prescribed marijuana in the form of an edible, pill or other extract. Smoking marijuana will remain strictly banned as a method of consumption The state is also aiming to put in place one of the most expansive seed-to-sale tracking systems statewide in the nation, which advocates estimate could result in a two years wait before any dispensaries or cultivators begin any meaningful operation in Pennsylvania. However, in the meantime, patients in Pennsylvania are allowed to utilize out of state dispensaries to receive their medication.

The governor’s office has provided a useful guide on their website aimed at answering any questions prospective patients may have. The state currently has a qualifying ailment list of approximately 17 different illnesses, including but not limited to: epilepsy, sickle cell anemia and PTSD. Applications for the program are set to be processed through Pennsylvania’s Department of Health.

With Pennsylvania as the newest state to join the medical marijuana movement, it’s abundantly clear that the tides are changing faster by the day.