Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Laws

A marijuana leaf in front of the shadow of a justice scale

Pennsylvania has had a medical marijuana program in place since April 17, 2016 when the state’s General Assembly passed the Medical Marijuna Act. Thanks to its passage the sale, consumption and possession of medical cannabis was legalized. The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH) was soon established to oversee and administer the state’s medical marijuana regulations.

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions

Initially, Pennsylvania allowed medical marijuana to be used in the treatment of 17 medical conditions. By the end of 2019, however, the list had expanded to 23 qualifying conditions. To apply for a medical marijuana card, patients must first have a certified doctor diagnose them with one of the below:

  • Anxiety disorders (added in July 2019)
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease
  • Autism
  • Cancer (A petition for cancer remission therapy was added in 2018)
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Intractable Seizures
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuropathies
  • 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 in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective.
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette syndrome

Medical Marijuana Doctor Certification

If you want to obtain a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card, you’ll need to show proof that you’re being treated by a registered practicing physician for a qualifying condition. Once an approved doctor certifies you during an office visit, he or she will complete a report that you can submit to complete your medical marijuana card application process.

Medical Marijuana Products Available In Pennsylvania

The medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania restricts the cannabis products that are allowed for treatment. Approved products include:

  • Medical marijuana gels
  • Medical marijuana pills
  • Medical marijuana oils
  • Medical marijuana tinctures
  • Medical marijuana creams
  • Medical marijuana ointments
  • Medical marijuana liquids
  • Medical marijuana dried leaf for administration through vaporization

Edibles are prohibited, but some of the cannabis products that are legal to purchase can be added to foods. Smoking is also prohibited, though vaping is allowed.

Medical Marijuana Patient Protection In Pennsylvania

A registered medical marijuana patient or caregiver in Pennsylvania is protected from arrest, prosecution, and discrimination in child custody cases. Employers do not have to accommodate employees’ on-site medical marijuana use. Legal protection doesn’t take effect until a patient has been issued a medical cannabis registration card.

Questions? If you’d like additional information about marijuana laws in Pennsylvania, ask your Nature’s Medicines Pharmacist or Patient Service Provider. We have a medical marijuana dispensary in State College, a medical marijuana dispensary in Selinsgrove, and a medical marijuana dispensary in Bloomsburg.