Medical marijuana sales begin!
Last update: April 17, 2018
February 15, 2018 was an historic day in the Keystone State. Less than two years after the governor signed Act 16 into law, dispensaries began selling medical marijuana to patients and caregivers. Pennsylvania is expected to be one of the largest medical marijuana markets in the country, and those involved in implementation should be applauded for reaching this point ahead of schedule.
As of mid-April, nine dispensaries and two grower/processors are operational. Over the next few months, we expect up to 81 dispensary locations to open across the state. More than 30,400 patients have registered to participate in the medical marijuana program, and nearly 1,000 physicians have registered with the department, more than half of whom have competed the training to become certified practitioners.
On April 16, 2018, Health Secretary Rachel Levine announced the department will make improvements to the medical cannabis program that the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board recommended the week prior. On May 12, the department will issue regulations to allow patient access to medical cannabis flower and to expand qualifying conditions — including substitute therapy for opiate addiction. They will then undergo legislative review.
Congratulations to the department of health and all of the lawmakers and advocates who made this possible.
Sensible marijuana policies spread as lawmakers return to work
In January, Erie became the latest city in Pennsylvania to decriminalize simple possession of marijuana, joining Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, York, and State College. In addition to these cities, 22 states and the District of Columbia have all stopped jailing individuals for possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Across the state, towns and cities are considering similar commonsense policies. Unfortunately, however, law enforcement can still enforce state law and impose criminal penalties and possible jail time.
To get involved locally, contact the Keystone Cannabis Coalition. You can find some background materials on decriminalization here.
MPP has developed a number of fact sheets for Pennsylvania patients, caregivers, doctors, and employers. Please print and share these materials with others, including your physician.
- Department of Health Guide to the Program
- Summary of Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act
- How to Talk to Your Doctor About Medical Marijuana
- Guide for Doctors and Patients
- Guide for Employers and Employees
- Visiting Patients and Medical Marijuana Laws
- Research and Evidence on Qualifying Conditions
You can also learn more on MPP’s medical marijuana page.