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PA Marijuana Laws

Updated on June 1, 2020.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Law

Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis law took effect in 2016. The bill removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by anyone possessing a signed recommendation from a physician stating that marijuana “may mitigate” his or her debilitating medical symptoms.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is tasked with establishing and administering the state’s medical marijuana program, which is in the process of being implemented. Practitioners may register with the department to begin participating in the program.

Pennsylvania requires all qualified patients with physician’s recommendations to register with the Department of Health. Upon registration, the patient will be issued a Pennsylvania medical marijuana identification card, which may be used to purchase medical marijuana from an authorized state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary.

Pennsylvania Marijuana Possession Penalties

  • Possession of 30 grams or less is a misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
  • Possession of more than 30 grams is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
  • First possession conviction is eligible for conditional release, wherein the offender gets probation for up to a year instead of jail time.
  • A second or subsequent conviction can lead to a doubled penalty.

Pennsylvania Marijuana Intent to Sell Penalties

  • Distribution of 30 or fewer grams of marijuana for no remuneration is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
  • Selling between two and 10 pounds of marijuana carries a mandatory minimum sentence of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. The penalties are doubled if the conviction is a second or subsequent drug offense, or if the sale is to a minor. The court is authorized to increase the fines beyond the maximum to exhaust the proceeds of the crime.
  • Sale of more than 1,000 pounds is a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. These penalties are doubled if the conviction is a second or subsequent drug offense, or if the sale is to a minor. The court is authorized to increase the fines beyond the maximum to exhaust the proceeds of the crime.

Pennsylvania Marijuana Cultivation Penalties

  • Possession of 10 to 21 marijuana plants is a felony punishable by a mandatory one-year sentence and a $5,000 fine. The penalty may be doubled if the conviction is a second or subsequent offense.
  • Possession of 22 to 51 marijuana plants is a felony and will be punished with a mandatory three-year sentence and a $15,000 fine. The penalty may be doubled if the conviction is a second or subsequent offense.

Pennsylvania Marijuana Paraphernalia Penalties

Possessing or selling paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of not more than $2,500. Delivering paraphernalia to a minor who is three or more years younger than the distributor is a second-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

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Offense Penalty Incarceration Max. Fine

Possession

30 g. or less Misdemeanor 30 days $500
More than 30 g. Misdemeanor 1 year $5,000
First possession conviction is eligible for conditional release. Subsequent conviction can lead to a doubled penalty.

Sale or Distribution

30 g. or less for no remuneration. Misdemeanor 30 days $500
2 lbs. to 10 lbs. Felony 1 year $5,000
10 lbs. to 50 lbs. Felony 3 years $25,000
Less than 1000 lbs. Felony 3 years $25,000
More than 1000 lbs. Felony 10 years $100,000
Within 1000 ft of a school or within 250 ft of recreational playground punishable by 2-4 years in prison.
To a minor, or after a previous drug conviction, brings doubled penalties.
Courts are authorized to increase the maximum fine to exhaust all proceeds from drug sales.
* Mandatory minimum sentence.

Cultivation

10 to 21 plants Felony 1 year $5,000
22 to 51 plants Felony *3 years $15,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence.

Hash & Concentrates

Possession of 8 g. or less Misdemeanor 30 days $500
Possession of more than 8 g. Misdemeanor 1 year $5,000
Manufacture. Felony 5 years $15,000
Penalties for selling or trafficking hashish or concentrates are the same as the trafficking penalties for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.

Paraphernalia

Possession or sale of paraphernalia. Misdemeanor 1 year $2,500
Distribution of paraphernalia to a minor at least three years younger. Misdemeanor 2 years $5,000
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