Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Program Is Up & Running
Megan L. McElhinney, CPhT
February 26, 2018
On April 17, 2016, Gov. Tom Wolf signed SB3, Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana (PAMMJ) Program, into law. 669 days later the first Medical Marijuana dispensaries opened. CY+ in Butler, Pa (Butler County) and Solevo Wellness Center in Squirrel Hill, Pa (Allegheny County) opened their doors on February 15th to patients that have received their medical cards. Two days later TerraVida in Sellersville, Pa (Bucks County) and Keystone Shops in Devon, Pa (Chester County) followed. Over the next few months more dispensaries will begin to open as the Health Department gives them the go ahead. Restore Integrative Wellness Center, is slated to be the first dispensary to open in the city of Philadelphia come mid April.
Currently, there is one medical marijuana cultivation center providing medicine to the 6 open dispensaries throughout the state. Dispensaries will only be able to offer patients their medicine in the following forms: Pills, Oils, Topical, such as, gels, creams and ointments. Also, tincture, which is a sublingual liquid you put under your tongue, and other forms of liquid medicine. Finally, vaporization of oils and nebulization will be the only way a patient can inhale their medicine. Smoking flower, or bud, is prohibited under state law.
Over 17,000 patients and caregivers have registered with the Department of Health and 4,000 have been certified by a registered physician. Among those 4,000 patients more than 400 have received their medical cards. To be eligible for the PAMMJ Program you must meet the 17 serious medical conditions outlined by the state. Physicians are required to take a four hour course approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health if they want to certify a patient for the PAMMJ Program. You can find more about the PAMMJ Program at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's website.
For more information on the Green Party of Pennsylvania's position on cannabis, click here.
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