Pennsylvania made its first steps in marijuana legislation with the October 2014 decriminalization of up to 30 grams of cannabis in Philadelphia. Other cities like Pittsburgh would do the same in the years that followed. Pennsylvania marijuana consumption became legal for medicinal purposes on April 17, 2016.
With the signing of law Senate Bill 3, Governor Tom Wolf ushered in the state's compassionate medical cannabis legislation.
Sales began at the end of February 2018 and qualifying patients are now able to shop for medical cannabis products across the state of Pennsylvania. Click here to browse the Pennsylvania medical dispensary directory.
Under current law, state-approved cardholders are allowed to possess a 30 day supply of cannabis flower, creams, gels, liquids, oils, ointments, pills or tinctures.
Originally, dried flower was unavailable to patients, however, the state recently approved its sale because of the low cost associated with unprocessed, dried cannabis flower. It was determined that flower was the most affordable option for medical patients in Pennsylvania so the change was made.
It’s important to note that smoking dried cannabis flower is still illegal in Pennsylvania and patients will have to consume it via vaporization if purchased.
Dispensaries are allowed to sell up to a 30-day supply to a patient, with records kept for each amount obtained. Patients may re-up on their 30-day supplies during the last 7 days of their previous 30-day allotment, however.
Pennsylvania residents, including individuals under 18, can be granted access to the medical marijuana program if a physician certifies that the patient has a serious medical condition. The following ailments meet the criteria:
Qualifying Medical Cannabis Conditions:
- Addiction Substitute Therapy – Opioid Reduction
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Cancer, Including Remission Therapy
- Crohn’s Disease
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
- Dyskinetic and Spastic Movement Disorders
- Huntington’s Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Intractable Seizures
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Neurodegenerative Diseases
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Terminal Illness
Homes and private residences are the only allowable locations for medical cannabis consumption in Pennsylvania. Jobs can also approve its use but often do not.
Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence of cannabis remains a felony in all states. In Pennsylvania, a first offense can result in a maximum 6-month prison sentence and up to a $5,000 fine. Driving under the influence of medical marijuana is treated similarly to an alcohol DUI and therefore should
Patients and caregivers can transport their medical marijuana within state lines as long as it is within their 30-day supply possession limit. Like alcohol, the cannabis must be kept out of reach and in a closed, sealed container.
Importing and Exporting Marijuana
There are no clear rules regarding a patient or caregiver that obtained cannabis outside of the state. The state Department of Health will only advise in regards to the law within Pennsylvania. They do recommend that all purchases occur in state as well.
Additionally, it is strictly illegal to transport medical cannabis from Pennsylvania across state lines.
Pennsylvania marijuana laws do not allow for home cultivation at this time.
Pennsylvania does not currently have reciprocity for patients with valid medical marijuana cards from out-of-state.