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How to Navigate Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Program

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Get a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card

Pennsylvania’s journey toward the legalization of medical cannabis began with the passage of Senate Bill 3, also known as the Medical Marijuana Act, on April 17, 2016. Prior to this, medical cannabis had been a contentious topic in the state, with advocates arguing for its potential therapeutic benefits and patients’ rights, while opponents expressed concerns over safety and potential abuse. However, after extensive debates and revisions, the bill received strong bipartisan support in the Pennsylvania General Assembly and was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf.

The Medical Marijuana Act of Pennsylvania established a comprehensive medical cannabis program, allowing patients with certain qualifying medical conditions to access medical marijuana with a valid certification from a registered physician. Compassionate Clinics of America is pleased to provide medical cannabis certifications and assistance through the process of getting a medical cannabis card in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania’s decision to legalize medical cannabis marked a significant step forward for patients seeking alternative treatments and established a framework for the safe and regulated use of medical marijuana in the state.

Cannabis for recreational or adult use purposes is not legal in Pennsylvania. However, as of 2023, the governor of Pennsylvania is proposing to legalize and tax adult-use marijuana.

This is an overview of everything you need to know about medical cannabis in Pennsylvania and the process of getting a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card with Compassionate Clinics of America.

Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Pennsylvania

What is legal and illegal in terms of cannabis in Pennsylvania?

Medical marijuana patients in Pennsylvania have a rather strict program. By 2018, a patient was able to access cannabis flower, but it is restricted to being vaporized. Edible cannabis products are not yet available for purchase.

At present, it is not permitted to cultivate marijuana at home, although efforts are being made to expand medical marijuana in Pennsylvania with cultivation regulations.

It is not legal to sell or purchase cannabis for recreational purposes in Pennsylvania as it remains a controlled substance, thus, there are several benefits to having a Pennsylvania medical cannabis card.

Who qualifies for a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania?

There are several reasons why people would choose to participate in the Pennsylvania marijuana program. Some people choose to turn to medical cannabis when conventional therapeutic interventions have ceased to be effective. However, in order to participate in the Pennsylvania program, one must have one or more qualifying medical conditions:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
  • Anxiety disorders.
  • Autism.
  • Cancer, including remission therapy.
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system (brain-spinal cord) with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, and other associated neuropathies.
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Glaucoma.
  • HIV / AIDS.
  • Huntington’s disease.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Intractable seizures.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Neuropathies.
  • Opioid use disorder for which conventional therapeutic interventions are contraindicated or ineffective, or for which adjunctive therapy is indicated in combination with primary therapeutic interventions.
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain.
  • Sickle cell anemia.
  • Terminal illness.
  • Tourette syndrome

How do I participate in the PA medical marijuana program?

In order to participate in the PA medical marijuana program, you must follow four (4) easy steps.

Step 1 – Register for the program through the Medical Marijuana Registry

Step 2 – Have a physician from Compassionate Clinics of America who is a licensed medical marijuana doctor in the state of Pennsylvania certify that you suffer from one of the medical conditions that qualify you for medical marijuana. This can be done through a diagnosis based on symptoms or based on past medical records that you may have.

Step 3 – Pay for your medical marijuana card

Step 4 – Get medical marijuana from an approved dispensary in Pennsylvania designated to serve only medical cannabis patients

Questions about the State’s medical marijuana program can be found at this link.

What are the benefits of having a medical cannabis card?

There are several benefits to having a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania. First, being a medical cannabis patient is the only legal way to use cannabis in the state.

If you have a qualifying medical condition and you get a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card, you can purchase medical marijuana from a licensed medical cannabis dispensary.

Other benefits for patients is that they have legal protection for employment or family-related matters, can participate in Cannabis Reciprocity programs in other states, and they can purchase medical marijuana products that have been curated specifically for their medicinal value.

Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Pennsylvania

How much does it cost to get a medical cannabis card in Pennsylvania?

The cost of a medical marijuana ID card is $50. Patients who participate in assistance programs including Medicaid, PACE/PACENET, CHIP, SNAP, and WIC may be eligible for fee reductions.

Compassionate Clinics of America offers several medical services including providing medical cannabis certifications. Our fees for Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program are as follows:

Qualifying Medical Card Diagnosis (If a qualified diagnosis is needed) $75
Adult New Physician Certification $125
Adult Renewal Certification $75
Minor Physician Certification $150
Minor Renewal Certification $100
Follow-Up Appointment ($175)
Consultation with Cannabis Nurse (90 min) $200
Patient Follow-Up Consultation with Cannabis Nurse (15 min) $50

Do I need a doctor’s referral to get a medical card?

Medical marijuana doctors at Compassionate Clinics of America are licensed to provide certifications for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. We also help you through the entire process of getting a medical marijuana card.

What information and forms are required to participate in the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program?

To register for the medical marijuana program, you must have a Pennsylvania driver’s license or an ID card issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Here is more information on getting a driver’s license or ID card in Pennsylvania.

How long is my medical marijuana card valid in Pennsylvania?

The PA Medical Marijuana Card is valid for a year.

When can I renew my ID card?

You’ll receive an email 60 days before your patient certification and ID card expire. This means it’s time to renew. The email will have directions on how to pay 30 days before your annual payment is due. This email includes a due date that is usually about a week before the expiration date on the ID card.

If the payment is not received by that date, the ID card will automatically be deactivated. When you log in and pay the annual payment, the card is immediately reactivated.

I’ve heard I can renew my medical cannabis card in Pennsylvania for $20. Where can I renew my medical card for $20? What is required for renewal?

In order to keep your medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania, you will require another certification from a licensed PA medical marijuana doctor.

While some companies may claim they can provide a Pennsylvania medical marijuana certification renewal for $20, no such provider exists.

The cost of the renewal is $75. You can book your renewal appointment with us here.

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I live in another state, can I apply?

No, to register for the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program, you must be a resident of the state.

Are registry identification cards from other state cannabis programs valid in Pennsylvania?

If you hold a medical marijuana card from another state, Pennsylvania permits people to use their out-of-state cards at medical cannabis dispensaries in the state through Cannabis Reciprocity.

Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Pennsylvania

Can I use medical marijuana anywhere in Pennsylvania?

Medical marijuana use can only occur in Pennsylvania in private residences. In some occasions, employers may allow you to use on site. It is not legal to consume it in public.

Can I be a medical marijuana caregiver in Pennsylvania?

A caregiver is someone who can pick up medical marijuana at a dispensary on a patient’s behalf. Each patient can designate up to two caregivers, and each caregiver can have up to five medical marijuana patients.

Minor patients are required to have a caregiver to whom they will administer medical marijuana. Registering as a caregiver does not permit medical marijuana use for the caregiver; caregivers also have to register for the program.

How long does it take to process my medical marijuana application?

Your application will be approved within a couple of days as long as you meet the qualifying conditions, have a certification from a doctor, and have paid your fees.

Can I own a gun and have a medical cannabis card in Pennsylvania?

Having a Medical Cannabis Card in Pennsylvania does raise concerns regarding gun licenses, primarily due to federal laws. While possessing a PA Medical Cannabis Card is essential for legally using medical marijuana, it can conflict with federal regulations when it comes to applying for or renewing a Pennsylvania License to Carry a Firearm (LTC). According to Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, Section 6109(e)(1)(xiv), individuals prohibited from firearm ownership or purchase under US law are ineligible for a gun license in the state.

The Pennsylvania State Police Firearms Division rigorously enforces this law, with disputes decided by administrative law judges. Interestingly, the Pennsylvania Department of Health prioritizes patient privacy by not disclosing patient identities on law enforcement background check gateways like JNET. As a result, individuals with medical marijuana cards might not appear in federal databases during gun background checks, allowing the possibility of holding both a medical card and firearms. Governor Wolf has previously emphasized that Pennsylvania would not confiscate firearms from medical cardholders who possess them.

Can a doctor complete a medical marijuana certification via telehealth?

Yes! Compassionate Clinics of America invites you to consult with our qualified and licensed doctors in Pennsylvania to recommend medical marijuana via telemedicine.

Whether you have a serious medical condition, or have symptoms that qualify you for a diagnosis and one of Pennsylvania’s qualifying medical conditions, or are looking to get a medical marijuana caregiver card, all engagements with our doctors are online, over the phone, and from the comfort of your own home.

When does the medical marijuana physician certification expire?

The certification for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania expires within one year.

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