August 15, 2017By Brian Manchester
Initial grower/provider licenses have been issued so far. Medical Marijuana is anticipated to be available sometime in 2018.
Pennsylvania has established sixteen different conditions/categories plus the “severe and chronic” pain catch-all category in which will qualify for the use of medical marijuana. The list is as follows:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
- HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) / AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
- Huntington’s Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
- Intractable Seizures
- Multiple Sclerosis
- 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
In addition, terminal conditions qualify for the use of medical marijuana.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has the ability, under the new law, to add to the list of qualifying conditions/categories. Currently, there is a lot of talk about adding mental health conditions, including PTSD, depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc., and experts in the field believe that area will be the next wave of add-ons to the program. But no purely psychological reasons have been approved in Pennsylvania to date.
Pennsylvania is only allowing certain types of marijuana products to be produced and sold for medical marijuana purposes. These include: pills, oils, gels, creams, ointments, tinctures, liquid, and non-whole plant forms for administration through vaporization.
However, there could be some issues with the different types of methods of consumptions set forth. Some of those issues are as follows.
The type of vaporization permitted under the Pennsylvania guidelines is NOT the same type of vaporization that marijuana/smokers refer to when they talk about vaping. Your typical marijuana vape is an electronic device that burns marijuana in plant form at such a high temperature that the plant matter vaporizes. This could eventually cause problems for Pennsylvania residents, because when most people think about “vaping” is only the type that you find in e-cigarettes, where the stuff you burn has already been extracted and put into liquid form and it is the liquid that is vaporized, not plant matter. There will be confusion about this, for people who are not properly informed about the difference between the two different types of vaporizers, thus they could get arrested for using the wrong type of vape.
Edibles are currently not legal under the Pennsylvania medical marijuana act. However, the approved forms of pills, oils, gels, tinctures, liquids, etc. can be legally mixed into foods and drinks for consumption. In addition what exactly will be approved for non-whole plant forms? Will the wax form be approved? We just do not know yet. In addition Pennsylvania has written the law to, for the most part; restrict medical marijuana card holders to only purchase their marijuana products from Pennsylvania. You will not be allowed to go to other states to purchase marijuana. The only exception that I can find is when the recipient of a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana card is a minor then the parent/guardian may purchases the necessary products outside of Pennsylvania. If you do not fit into this category you could be charged with illegal possession of marijuana and possibly felony distribution of marijuana.
It is extremely important to contact an experienced law firm right away if you or someone you know is facing criminal charges in Pennsylvania. If you, your son, daughter, or loved one in Pennsylvania has been arrested for a crime in state or federal court in Pennsylvania you need legal representation. Here at Manchester and Associates, we represent people across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For a free consultation we can be contacted at 1-800-243-4878.