Pennsylvania launches 24th U.S. medical marijuana program

Written by The Associated Press | Apr 18, 2016 4:38 AM

Governor Tom Wolf speaks before signing Senate Bill 3, legalizing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. (Photo courtesy of PA Internet News Service).

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania has become the 24th state to legalize a comprehensive medical marijuana program.

Democratic Governor Tom Wolf signed the bill into law Sunday afternoon surrounded by a jubilant crowd of supporters at the Capitol.

He thanked the advocates behind the push for legalization, calling them the real heroes.

"When you have people who represent a cause as eloquently and in as hearfelt way as the advocates for this have done, it shows that we can actually get something done that means something," he said.

Democratic Sen. Daylin Leach, the bill's co-sponsor, said "Marijuana is medicine, and it's coming to Pennsylvania."

The bill's drafters say it could take two years to write regulations and get retailers opened.

But a provision allows parents to legally administer medical marijuana to their children before the bill takes effect in a month.

The bill sets standards for tracking plants, certifying physicians and licensing growers, dispensaries and physicians.

Patients could take marijuana in pill, oil, vapor, ointment or liquid form, but would not be able to legally obtain marijuana to smoke or grow.

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