Mar 17th 2021
How Can I Get Medical Marijuana In Pennsylvania During The Coronavirus Pandemic?
Image by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

If you are looking to become a medical cannabis patient during the pandemic, you can now do it from the comfort of your own home in the state of Pennsylvania.

This is thanks to the relaxed regulations that Gov. Wolf enacted under the state’s Disaster Proclamation in March.  With other changes, physicians registered with Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program are now allowed to certify new patients and re-certify existing patients by conducting a remote consultation over video chat or the telephone.

Before the change in regulation, patients needed to be certified by having and in-person visit with the certifying physician.  These regulations will continue until the Governor’s disaster proclamation ends.

With the directive that medical cannabis dispensaries are deemed necessary and remain open to patients, Pennsylvania providers are completing  Appointments over video chat or the phone — as part of the state’s efforts to support social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis.

We have discovered our patients and communities to be settling in and adapting to our new, hopefully, temporary policies of staying in and social distancing.  With more free time on their hands and the allowance of telemedicine for medical cannabis certifications, patients have been reaching out at a steady pace to get certified.

We have made it a very simple process for our patients, giving them access to the medicine that is critical to their health and wellbeing.

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

How Do I Get Certified In Pennsylvania For Medical Marijuana Now?

Here is a guide to what you need to know:

 Do I qualify for a medical marijuana card?

Across the country, people are turning to medical cannabis to ease their anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis.  CBD and hemp oils have also become popular for managing stress.  This does not seem to be about getting high, it seems that more and more people are turning to cannabis to just simply be well.

In Pennsylvania, you need to have at least one of the 23 qualifying conditions listed by the Pennsylvania department of health. Patients suffering from conditions such as, anxiety disorders, severe chronic or intractable pain, PTSD, cancer to name a few would qualify under the program.

As part of the process, you will need to be able to provide medical records documenting your diagnosis.  Medical records may be obtained through your provider’s online portal or reaching out to them directly.

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How Do I Register For The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program?

If you have a qualifying diagnosis, patients can register for the medical marijuana program online by creating a profile on the PADOH’s Medical Marijuana Patient Registry.

You’ll need to have a state-issued driver’s license or identification card, as well as provide your name, address, and contact information. When creating your online profile in the PADOH Medical Marijuana Patient Registry, your information must be entered exactly as it appears on your state-issued ID.

How Do I Schedule A Remote Certification?

To schedule a remote consultation, patients can contact Compassionate Clinics of America, they are available 6 days a week for remote certifications from 10 am to 6 pm.  Remember, medical marijuana certifications are often not covered by insurance, so this will be an out-of-pocket expense.

New certifications cost between $100 and $200, the consultation usually takes 15-20 minutes.

Compassionate Clinics of America is holding a weekly certification giveaway for those qualifying patients that have been impacted financially by the COVID-19 crisis.  Register here for the opportunity to receive a free certification.

How To Get Your Card After Being Certified

Once you have completed your certification, patients will need to log into their Medical Marijuana Registry account and pay PADOH for their medical marijuana card. PADOH’s fee is $50 annually, if you are on a program like Medicaid and WIC, the fee could get refunded.

Cards should be delivered by mail to your registered address within seven to 10 days.

Photo by Martijn Baudoin on Unsplash

Getting Medicine From An Approved Dispensary

Once you have received your medical marijuana card in the mail, you will be allowed to make a purchase at any of the approved dispensaries.

Pennsylvania dispensaries have been deemed necessary and have been asked to ensure the operational procedures are updated to ensure the health and safety of the patients.  Dispensaries are now offering things like curbside pickup, as well as, cashless transactions.  Some dispensaries are now even offering home delivery.  It would be a good idea to check with your chosen dispensary to ensure you understand their new process amid the crisis.

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