Many Pennsylvania residents have patiently been waiting for the state government to begin the process of allowing patients with 17 qualifying conditions the right to medical cannabis. New regulations released this week prove they’re getting closer, but still have a long way to go. While the rules have been laid out for dispensaries, it’s likely there will be more restrictions added on as the program advances.
Pennsylvania is getting ready
As early as January, Pennsylvania residents suffering from the following conditions will be given access to medical cannabis:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
- Huntington’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Intractable seizures
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin
- Sickle cell anemia
The cannabis will be in the form of oils, tinctures, pills and some form conducive to vaping, but not dried flowers for smoking, and patients will need a prescription from a certified medical cannabis physician.
While the state prepares doctors and patients for the newly founded market, some of the 50 dispensary license holders are getting ready to set up shop. The state continues to release new information, almost daily, about the changing program guidelines.
Earlier this week, officials announced a few rules the dispensaries must follow in order to participate in the state’s medical cannabis program.
Regulation and rules
In order to comply with state regulations, dispensaries can only hire employees over the age of 18, be located at least 1,000 feet away from schools and daycares and customers would have to be notified that they are under video surveillance.
Pennsylvania also enforces these same restrictions in the state-run liquor stores. Many supporters of PA’s medical cannabis program believe the regulations on dispensaries should be similar to those laid out for the alcohol stores. So, it’s a good sign that state officials are following through with this notion.
More information about the percentage of state tax that will be applied to medical cannabis and packaging requirements are expected to be released in the coming weeks.