Health and Medical

Learner’s Guide To Get Medical Marijuana In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents suffering from chronic illnesses can now apply for a medical marijuana card. To check if you are eligible, make sure to read this guide on how to get medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. The state took a huge step in 2016, April 17th of, to sign the medical marijuana program. The new law was referred to as act 16, and this protects patients and physicians from civil and criminal penalties. This also generated a more organized and controlled system for patients to use cannabis. 

The state has also given exact guidelines for patients, caregivers, and health professionals. The medical marijuana program started working in 2017, and the sales began in February 2018. The medical marijuana laws in Pennsylvania allow those with chronic illnesses to buy medical marijuana. You can get the products at a registered dispensary using a medical marijuana card. Here is a current guide on how to get medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

How to Get Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania

Before you start the method of obtaining a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania, ensure that you are a resident of the state. You can do this by offering a state ID. Also, you need to be 18 years and above and have a qualifying condition that we will tackle later in this article.

Register Online

Registering online is the first step of getting a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania. You need to go online and access the patient and caregiver registry. You will then make a patient profile and give any required information like your name and address. Then you will look for a Pennsylvania doctor who the state health department registers. Start collecting your medical history and important documents. Your doctor will look at these records before they recommend you to have a medical marijuana card.

Get the Doctor’s Approval

You will need to use the doctor who is registered by the state to give you a recommendation. Also, perceive that you need to have a complete patient and caregiver registry profile before your doctor evaluates you. These physicians can access the medical marijuana registry program. Therefore if they approve that you qualify for the program, they will submit your recommendation online. 

There is no particular document that you need to bring into the office or even print. To qualify for this card, you need to have a qualifying condition diagnosed by a physician. Also, ensure that you have a bonafide relationship with your doctor.

Pay for the Application/ Medical Marijuana Card

After getting a recommendation from a physician, you can now log into the patient and caregiver registry. There you complete your application and pay for the Pennsylvania medical marijuana card. To log into the registry program, you need to have the following;

A photo ID and should be electronic, A current digital photo, andA visa or MasterCard that you will use to pay.

You also need to note that you should be 18 years and older to apply for a card. If you are a minor, you require a caregiver to use on your behalf. The caregiver is usually a parent or guardian and should complete the state’s safe harbor form.

Visit an Accredited Dispensary and Get Medical Cannabis

The final step of getting medical marijuana in Pennslyvania state is to get your card and purchase the medication in a licensed dispensary. There are many state-approved dispensaries in Pennsylvania. Check online and determine the ones near you.

The Marijuana Laws in Pennsylvania

There is a huge push to make recreational marijuana legal in Pennsylvania. However, this is still illegal, and you can only use it with a medical marijuana card. The rule is that if you possess any amount of marijuana illegally, this is an offense. You can be prosecuted and pay a fine of up to $500 and 30 days in prison. The jail term will increase if you possess over 30 grams of marijuana. The purchase of more than 30 grams of marijuana is a criminal offense, and you can serve a jail term of 2.5 to 5 years in prison.

You can get the same punishment if you plant any number of marijuana plants. But some municipalities have decriminalized the use of this drug. Places like Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Pittsburg, Lanchester, and Carlisle have legalized the possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana. You can receive a fine of not more than $25 in these municipalities.

Medical Marijuana Cost in Pennsylvania

The application fee right now for adults in Pennsylvania is $50. The costs can be reduced to $25 if you qualify for the following adult government programs.

Medicaid, PACE/PACENET, CHIP, SNAP, and WIC

You will also pay $50 to renew your medical marijuana card. Some doctors will charge you $200 as a consultation fee while others $100. This will depend on the physician.

Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions in Pennsylvania

The following is a list of qualifying conditions in Pennsylvania;

ALS, Anxiety disorders, Autis, Cancer, Crohn’s disease, Nervous tissue destruction to the spinal cord, Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Huntington’s disease, Intractable seizures, Multiple sclerosis, Neurodegenerative disorders, Neuropathies, Opioid use disorder, Parkinson’s disease, PTSD, Intractable pain or chronic, Sickle cell anemia, Terminal illness, and Tourette syndrome

Renewing Marijuana Card in Pennsylvania

From July 30th, 2020, it was no longer essential to renew your medical marijuana card to be a part of the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program. But you are still required to take steps to ensure you are protected under the medical marijuana law. In Pennsylvania state, your card expires one year after you obtain it, and you will get an email two months before your card expires.

At this time, you will have to book another consultation with the marijuana doctor to get a certification. You can use a different doctor instead of the one who previously certified you. After the certificate, the state will print another marijuana card for you, and they will send it to you via mail at the address you gave. You will pay for the card annually, and therefore you will receive an email that reminds you to pay a $50 renewal fee one month before your card expires. If you qualify for a reduction, this fee will be $25.

Can a Medical Marijuana Patient Use a Caregiver?

You can select a caregiver to buy, possess or administer the medication instead of you. The caregiver must have the following qualifications;

They need to be at least 21 years and more, They should reside in Pennsylvania and should prove it with address and residency, and they need not have a conviction for any offense regarding controlled substances in the last five years.

You can have up to two caregivers in the patient and caregiver registry. If you are a minor, you will need to have a caregiver. There is a different caregiver section that has essential information regarding the patient. A caregiver can as well fill in their information in this profile. 

Right now, Pennsylvania states permit caregivers to care for up to five patients. You need to know that it can take up to six weeks after the fingerprint appointment to determine if the program has approved a caregiver.

The Amount of Marijuana to Purchase and Possess

If you become a medical marijuana card, there is no limit for marijuana possession. The state allows the patients to purchase a 90-day supply and their physicians determine the amount to have. Till June 2021, the limit was 30 days. However, the governor signed HB 1024 into law. But the patients can buy medical marijuana if they have no more than a 7-day supply of the last dispensed marijuana. You can as well have restrictions on the type of product to use.

Final Thought

There are recent changes regarding the possession of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. This means that a cardholder benefits from a 90-day supply limit. That is why it is essential to learn how to get medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

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