On April 12, 2016, Senate Bill 3 was approved by the Senate, and by the House on April 13, 2016, and was signed into law on April 17, 2016, effectively removing all state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a signed recommendation from their physician stating that marijuana “may mitigate” his/her debilitating medical symptoms.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has indicated that the implementation of the state’s Medical Marijuana Program, is expected to take between 18-24 months. Once established, qualified patients with a physician’s recommendation must register with the state DOH — once registered, the patient will receive a Pennsylvania medical marijuana identification card, with which, they may purchase medical marijuana from an authorized state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary. Currently, in the state of Pennsylvania, there are about 18 physicians approved to recommend medical marijuana in the following counties: Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County. Over 100 physicians have been approved in the state of PA as a whole.
Patients in Pennsylvania diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions, are afforded legal protection under the Pennsylvania medical marijuana law, as per Senate Bill 3— “The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program”: