Medical marijuana in Pennsylvania marks five years

Nearly 553-thousand patients and caregivers are registered in the program to obtain medical marijuana for one of 23 serious medical conditions.

(Harrisburg)—Governor Wolf marked the five-year anniversary of the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act on Saturday.  The 2016 law established the medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania.

Nearly 553-thousand patients and caregivers are registered in the program to obtain medical marijuana for one of 23 serious medical conditions.

One-hundred-fourteen operational dispensaries are open across the state, dispensing products to patients.  Twenty-eight grower/processors are operational, with 23 shipping product to the dispensaries.

An additional 2018 law established a clinical research program.  Eight clinical registrants hold both a grower/processor and a dispensary permit.  Clinical registrants must have a research contract with one of eight approved academic clinical research centers.

More than 2,100 physicians have registered for the program, with over 1,500 approved as practitioners.

In March of 2020, the program temporarily suspended certain statutory and regulatory provisions in order to improve access during the COVID-19 emergency.  Those changes include:

–Allowing dispensary employees to provide medical marijuana to cardholders in their vehicles on the facility’s property.

–Eliminating background checks for caregiver renewal applications.

–The suspension of a required in-person consultation to allow for remote consultations between approved practitioners and medical marijuana patients.

The regulatory suspensions remain in place for the duration of the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency in Pennsylvania.

More information about the medical marijuana program can be found at www.medicalmarijuana.pa.gov.

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