Cannabis & Marijuana Law
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Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania
On April 17, 2016, Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana when Governor Tom Wolf signed The Medical Marijuana Act (Act 16 of 2016) into law. Currently, regulations are being written by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and will publish temporary regulations in order for potential patients, growers and dispensary applicants to move forward under the Act to allow patients with serious qualifying medical conditions to begin to receive medical marijuana from an authorized dispensary. Over the next two years, the infrastructure of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana industry will be created and the Act fully implemented.
Studies have shown that medical marijuana can assist patients suffering from certain serious medical conditions by alleviating pain and improving their quality of life. The Act defines a “serious medical condition” as any one of the following:
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) / AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective
Sickle Cell Anemia
The Act limits marijuana for medical use in the following forms: pill, oil, topical gels creams or ointments, forms medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization excluding dry leaf or plant form, tincture and liquid. Smoking is not currently permitted under the Act.
In the "first phase" of the program, 12 permits for growers/processors and up to 27 dispensaries will be issued in six regions throughout Pennsylvania. The 12 grower/processor permits were announced by the Pennsylvania Department of Health on June 20, 2017. The 27 dispensary permits were announced on June 29, 2017. Additional rounds of permits are anticipated in the near future.
Any individuals or businesses who wish to engage in activities authorized by the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act such as patients, caregivers, growers or dispensaries will need experienced legal counsel to ensure compliance with the Act and any forthcoming regulations. Concannon & Charles is prepared to help you navigate this new field. Please contact the firm as soon as possible for a consultation.
Medical Marijuana News:
N.J. medical marijuana panel: Allow 43 more conditions - including autism and anxiety, Philly.com, August 4, 2017.
Uruguay’s Marijuana Law Turns Pharmacists Into Dealers, New York Times, July 19, 2017.
Marijuana Industry Gears Up After N.J. Candidate Backs Legalization, New York Times, July 7, 2017.
Controversy around Pennsylvania's medical marijuana permits, Action News ABC Philadelphia WPVI-TV, June 30, 2017.
Pennsylvania announces medical marijuana dispensary permits, PennLive.com, June 30, 2017.
Medical marijuana permits leave losers fuming in Pa., Philly.com, June 29, 2017.
Pa. awards 12 licenses to grow medical marijuana, Philly.com, June 20, 2017.
Pa.'s medical cannabis law legalized only the priciest treatments, Philly.com, June 6, 2017.
States Keep Saying Yes to Marijuana Use. Now Comes the Federal No, New York Times, June 15, 2017.
Jeff Sessions personally asked Congress to let him prosecute medical-marijuana providers, Washington Post, June 13, 2017.
Everything you need to know about N.J.'s medical marijuana program, NJ.com, February 23, 2017.
Pa. will soon accept applications for growing, dispensing medical marijuana, PennLive.com, Dec. 21, 2016.
What will a Pennsylvania medical marijuana dispensary look like?, MCall.com, October 25, 2016.
Pa. publishes new rules for medical-marijuana dispensaries, Philly.com, October 26, 2016.
A Sensible Bill on Medical Marijuana, New York Times, March 11, 2015.
Medical Marijuana Laws in Pennsylvania & New Jersey:
Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program FAQ, Pennsylvania Department of Health.