Dry leaf will be sold for vaporization later this summer.
Harrisburg, PA – Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine today announced she will implement the recommendations of the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board and directed the Department of Health to prepare regulations to enact them.
“On behalf of Governor Wolf, I would like to thank the members of the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board for their hard work and due diligence in evaluating not only how the program is serving patients now, but how it will serve them in the future,” Dr. Levine said. “After careful consideration I have decided to implement all of the recommendations put forth by the Advisory Board. This means that dry leaf or flower will be sold in Pennsylvania dispensaries in a form that can be vaporized, not smoked, later this summer.”
Other key recommendations from the Advisory Board include:
- Expanding the list of serious medical conditions to 21;
- Eliminating the need to patients to pay for a medical marijuana card more than once a year;
- Allowing physicians to opt out of the public-facing list of practitioners; and
- Requiring pediatric patients to be certified by a pediatrician or pediatric specialist.
“Requiring children to see a pediatrician to participate in the program is an important recommendation, but we are going to delay implementation for at least a year to allow more pediatricians and pediatric specialists to join the program,” Dr. Levine said.
More than 30,000 patients have registered to participate in the medical marijuana program, with more than 10,000 who have received their identification cards and received medical marijuana at a dispensary. Nearly 1,000 physicians have registered for the program with more than half of those certified as practitioners.
The Medical Marijuana Program was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on April 17, 2016. Since that time, the department has:
- Completed temporary regulations for growers/processors, dispensaries, physicians, patients, laboratories, and academic clinical research centers and clinical registrants, all of which have been published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin;
- Issued permits to grower/processors and dispensaries;
- Developed the Medical Marijuana Physician Workgroup;
- Convened the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board;
- Approved five training providers for physician continuing-education;
- Approved four laboratories to test medication before it is delivered to patients;
- Launched registries for patients and caregivers, as well as physicians;
- Registered more than 30,000 patients for the program;
- Approved 16 dispensaries and 12 grower/processers to begin operations;
- Continued to work with permittees to ensure they will be operational; and
- Issued applications for the second phase of the program for grower/processors and dispensaries, as well as the Accredited Clinical Research Centers.
The Medical Marijuana Program offers medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under a practitioner’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by the Medical Marijuana Law.
Questions about the Medical Marijuana Program can be emailed to RA-DHMedMarijuana@pa.gov. Information is also available at www.medicalmarijuana.pa.gov .
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April Hutcheson, Health, 717-787-1783
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