The following forms are allowed to be dispensed by licensed operators under the PA Medical Marijuana Program:
Most commonly consumed by inhalation of vapor, oils come in many different forms and ratios. Oils are popular with patients who want something fast-acting. Oils can also be used as an additive to baked goods, salad dressings and more for home ingestion that fits with the patient’s diet.
Applied and absorbed directly through the skin in the forms of creams, gels, and ointments, cannabis-infused topicals are often used for localized pain relief, muscle soreness, tension, and inflammation. Topicals are non-psychoactive and therefore often used by patients who want the therapeutic benefits of marijuana, without the psychoactive euphoria that often comes with other delivery methods.
Cannabis tinctures are very popular due to their ease of use. They are used for a variety of ailments and are often used to aid in the treatment of chemotherapy. They can be consumed by dripping under the tongue, or by adding a small amount to another liquid. Effects typically begin several minutes after ingesting.
Liquids can be directly consumed or combined with other drinks for simple ingestion methods. Liquids typically have a longer onset than vaporization and tinctures.
Pills can be taken orally as with any other pill. These types of medicine take a long time to enter the system and take effect but last for a long time.
A form medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization, excluding dry leaf or plant form.
Pennsylvania has one of the most extensive list of conditions that permits for the use of medical marijuana.
ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
Positive Status for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) / AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
PTSD (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
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions provided by PA Department of Health.
Who will be able to obtain medical marijuana?
Under the Medical Marijuana Program, patients who are residents of the commonwealth and have a serious medical condition as certified by a physician will be able to obtain medical marijuana at approved dispensaries that are located in the commonwealth and have a validly-issued permit from the department.
A “caregiver” who is designated by the patient and approved by the department will be able to obtain medical marijuana from an approved dispensary located in the commonwealth that has a validly-issued permit from the department in order for the caregiver to deliver medical marijuana to the patient.
How may patients participate in the medical marijuana program?
In order to participate in the Medical Marijuana Program, patients must:
- Register with the department.
- Obtain a physician’s certification that they suffer from one of the 17 serious medical conditions, as defined in the Act.
- Apply for a medical marijuana ID card and submit the application fee.
- Obtain medical marijuana from an approved dispensary located in the commonwealth that has a valid permit issued by the department.
(The PA Department of Health has a guide for medical marijuana patients, caregivers, physicians and others. You can find the registration portal there as well as details on how the program will operate .)
Can patients with serious medical conditions receive medical marijuana if they are under 18?
Yes. Patients under the age of 18 with a serious medical condition may obtain medical marijuana through a caregiver. For patients under the age of 18, a caregiver may be a parent or legal guardian, a person designated by a parent or guardian, or an individual approved by the department upon a sufficient showing that no parent or legal guardian is appropriate or available. The caregiver must undergo a criminal history background check, apply to the department for an identification card, and be registered with the department. The patient must also have an identification card issued by the department. The department will make applications available to patients on its website.
Can someone else obtain medical marijuana on behalf of a patient?
Yes. When a patient submits an application to the department for an identification card, he or she may designate up to two caregivers. Caregivers must undergo a criminal history background check, submit an application to the department for an identification card, and be registered with the department. The department will make applications for caregivers available on its website. There is a $50 processing fee for caregiver applications, but the department may waive or reduce the fee if the applicant demonstrates financial hardship on the application.
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