Read time: 5:12 mins
Pennsylvania has been making marijuana news recently, as Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov John Fetterman have called on the state’s legislature to take up legalization of adult-use cannabis. If put into law, it could be a big win-win for the commonwealth – increased tax revenue, potentially in the hundreds of millions of dollars – and open cannabis access for current or future users. Pennsylvania would join 11 other states and Washington, D.C. that have legalized cannabis for adult use.
Currently, Pennsylvania is a medical marijuana-only state, one of 33 states to legalize medical cannabis. The state didn’t make medical marijuana legal until 2016 and patients didn’t gain full access to medical marijuana in dispensaries until two years after that. In order to purchase and use medical marijuna in PA you have to apply for a medicinal marijuana card.
Take a look below for answers to common PA medical marijuana program questions. And be sure to check Three Wells often for the latest Pennsylvania marijuana legalization news.
PA Medical Marijuana Eligibility
Who can participate in the PA medical marijuana program?
A person with an approved serious medical condition who is a Pennsylvania resident and is certified by a doctor participating in the PA medical marijuana program.
What are the approved “serious medical conditions”?
A “serious medical condition” under Pennsylvania law is any one of the following:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
- Anxiety disorders
- 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
- HIV / AIDS
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Intractable seizures
- Multiple sclerosis
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- 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 know if I am eligible for the PA medical marijuana program?
If you believe you have an approved serious medical condition, you will need to visit a doctor approved to participate in the PA medical marijuana program. The doctor will certify that you have an approved serious medical condition and are eligible for medical marijuana. It’s important to know that this doctor’s visit may not be covered by insurance and you would be responsible to pay out-of-pocket.
PA Medical Marijuana Application Process
What steps do I need to take to participate in the PA medical marijuana program as a patient?
There are four steps to participate in the PA medical marijuana program as a patient:
- Register online through the PA medical marijuana program website
- See an approved practitioner to get certified;
- Pay for your medical marijuana ID card; and
- Visit a PA dispensary with your medical marijuana ID card.
What information do I need to have available when I register?
All patients and caregivers must have proof of Pennsylvania residency in the form of a Pennsylvania driver’s license or a Pennsylvania state issued ID card with their current address. Patients and caregivers also must have a working email address.
Do you have any tips for a successful registration?
Have your valid Pennsylvania driver’s license or state-issued ID (or change of address card if applicable) in front of you while registering as you will need to match the information exactly as it appears on the ID, as your first name and last name must match the way they appear on that card. Make sure the address is recognized by the USPS as a valid mailing address. Enter only the digits where numbers are required (no spaces, hyphens, etc.).
How will I know if I registered successfully?
After your information is validated, you will be prompted to create a username and password. When you have created the username and password, you will see a screen that displays your account information including your Patient ID number. You are now registered in our program. You will receive an email confirming your successful registration and detailing your next step, which is to obtain a patient certification from an approved practitioner.
PA Medical Marijuana ID Card
What is a patient certification?
A doctor approved by the state’s department of health can issue a patient certification. The certification confirms that you have one of the 23 serious medical conditions, and that medical marijuana may benefit you. You need this certification to get your medical marijuana ID card.
How do I get a patient certification?
An approved doctor can issue your patient certification.
Can I register online before I see my doctor?
Yes, you should register and have your patient ID number prior to seeing an approved doctor.
What happens after I am certified by a doctor?
After the doctor certifies you in the system, you will receive an email confirmation with your next steps on how to pay for your medical marijuana ID card.
How do I pay for my patient ID card?
Visit the login page and log in as a returning user with the username and password that you created when you registered. Usernames and passwords are case-sensitive. Click the ‘Make Payment’ tab and follow the prompts to enter payment information. A confirmation will appear when you have successfully paid for the medical marijuana ID card.
How much is the medical marijuana ID card?
The fee for the patient or caregiver medical marijuana ID card is $50. Individuals who participate in the following government programs may qualify for a discounted medical marijuana ID card: Medicaid, PACE/ PACENET, CHIP, SNAP and WIC.
When will I get my patient ID card?
Allow 7 days for printing from the date you paid for your ID card and 14 days to receive it in the mail. Your card will be mailed to the address in your patient profile.
I received my card. Where can I get medical marijuana?
Once you have received your medical marijuana ID card, you can purchase medical marijuana at any dispensary in Pennsylvania. Some dispensaries require an appointment for your first visit.
- Directions to your nearest Pennsylvania medical marijuana dispensary near you
- List of all Pennsylvania dispensaries with product availability (Current September 2020)
Can you register as a patient for the PA medical marijuana program if you have a criminal record?
You are not required to complete a background check if you are registering as a patient. However, all caregivers must complete a background check, and any criminal record will be reviewed prior to their approval.
I’m a caregiver for a minor with a serious medical conditions. Can I get medical marijuana for the minor in my care?
Yes. Patients under the age of 18 with a qualifying medical condition may get medical marijuana through a caregiver. Find answers to your questions here.