The legalization of medical marijuana is spreading across the United States. Research has shown that marijuana can be effective in treating many health disorders or in the management of symptoms for others.
In Pennsylvania, the Medical Marijuana Act was brought into effect in May 2016. Dispensaries became available to serve the public in April of 2018 as long as customers have a qualifying health condition. Conditions that have been considered for medical marijuana treatment include:
- Anxiety disorder
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Tourette syndrome
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Huntington’s disease
- Chron’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Intractable seizures
- Sickle cell anemia
- Brain and spinal cord nervous tissue damage
- Spastic movement disorder
- Opioid reduction therapy
- Chronic pain
To qualify for medical marijuana, a patient must have one of the above conditions and be prescribed a treatment plan by a certified physician. At this current time, recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in the state of Pennsylvania.
Is it hard to get a medical card in PA?
The process to get a card for the use of medical marijuana isn’t difficult in Pennsylvania, but as in other states, it does require a series of steps. First, a person must register on the Medical Marijuana Registry. This involves creating a profile with relevant information such as contact details, full name, and identification.
Following registration, a person must be diagnosed with a qualifying condition by a registered physician willing to give them a recommendation for the use of medical marijuana. Following recommendation, a person must apply for their Medical Marijuana ID card. This involves applying with your created profile and paying an application fee of $50.
How long does it take to get your medical card in the mail in PA?
Once all the above steps are completed, the medical marijuana will be sent out via mail. The timeline of the paperwork process to get a medical marijuana card will differ from person to person and depending on the time of year.
It may take anywhere from five business days to two weeks to receive the medical marijuana card in the mail, so it’s important to be patient during this time. It’s also important to note that your MMJ card is only valid for one calendar year and must be renewed annually.
Can you get fired for having a medical card in Pennsylvania?
Getting a medical marijuana card does not exempt a person from other laws in place. There are certain restrictions that those with cards must adhere to in order to remain eligible. For example, a person cannot grow their own medical marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania. All medicinal forms must be purchased from a licensed and registered dispensary.
A person must also adhere to laws such as not driving under the influence of MMJ, as well as not selling any medical marijuana they purchase. When it comes to the workplace, an MMJ card holder must adhere to work rules surrounding the policy on marijuana, such as avoiding use while at work and on work property.
According to provisions made to employment regulations, employers do not have the right to “discharge, threaten, refuse, to hire or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against an employee regarding an employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, location, or privileges solely on the basis of such employee’s status as an individual who is certified to use medical marijuana.” This makes it illegal for any employer to fire you solely for having a medical marijuana card, and it can give you the right to legal recourse if they do.
How much can you buy at a dispensary in PA?
Pennsylvania has made it illegal to smoke marijuana flower, so it can only be consumed in forms such as pills, oils, tinctures, topical creams and lotions, liquids, and dried in a vaporizer.
At any given time, a person certified to have medical marijuana can obtain a 30-day supply.
This requirement can pose some problems for those looking to buy their medical marijuana, because the exact amount is unclear according to the Medical Marijuana Act. Since doctors are not prescribing certain amounts or types, it can be ambiguous in how much is too much.
Other states such as New Jersey have put forth specific limits. For example, in New Jersey, a person with a medical marijuana card can purchase two ounces per month. A restriction in amount has not yet been explored in the state of Pennsylvania, which leaves the door open for people to purchase as much as they want.
Medical marijuana has been proven to help people cope and manage a myriad of different health conditions. As more and more states legalize the use of marijuana for medical reasons, laws are sure to become more expansive.
Featured image by Kelly Kiernan on Unsplash