How to Get a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card? [A Guide] - August 25, 2021

Residents of Pennsylvania can now get a medical marijuana card for various medical conditions. However, they must meet certain requirements. After reading this guide, you will learn how to get a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, medical use of marijuana is legal. In April 2016, the General Assembly passed the Medical Marijuana Act (Act 16), thus legalizing consumption and possession of cannabis for patients suffering from various medical conditions (see the list of PA qualifying conditions). The Pennsylvania Department of Health oversees the state’s medical marijuana program.

I am proud to sign this bill that will provide long overdue medical relief to patients and families who could benefit from this treatment. I applaud members of both parties in the House and Senate who have come together to help patients who have run out of medical options and want to thank the thousands of advocates who have fought tirelessly for this cause. – Governor Tom Wolf

Source: https://www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/governor-wolf-statement-on-medical-marijuana-legalization/

By getting a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card, you can legally buy cannabis from any state-licensed dispensary. In this guide, we are going to explain what’s the complete process of becoming a medical marijuana patient in Pennsylvania, are you eligible for the state’s medical marijuana program, where you can consume cannabis, and more.

 

How to Get a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card?

Anyone who is a Pennsylvania resident and has a severe medical condition can participate in the state’s medical marijuana program. [For more details, see do I qualify for a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card]

Here’s the three-step process to get a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania-

  • Register on the PA Medical Marijuana Registry online
  • Get approved by a licensed doctor [you can see a doctor online]
  • Pay for your PA medical marijuana identification card & get it

Now, we are going to explain each step.

 

Register Online

The first step is to register your account in the Medical Marijuana Registry.

The registration process is simple. All you need is to enter your basic details, such as name, address, contact number, etc., and submit the form online

To register for the medical marijuana program, you must be a legal resident of Pennsylvania. You must show your proof of residency—you can use a driver’s license or other identification card issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

 

Get Approved by a Licensed Physician

To participate in the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program, you need to get approved by a licensed physician. The physician may ask you a few questions, such as why are you opting for medical marijuana, how long have you been suffering, etc. If they think you need marijuana for managing your medical condition, they will provide you with an MMJ recommendation letter.

You can either visit a doctor’s clinic or see a doctor online. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we recommend using the second option to get a doctor’s recommendation safely and quickly. Find a cannabis doctor near you to get your recommendation now.

Here are steps to get a Pennsylvania medical marijuana recommendation online-

  • Register your account online
  • Talk to a PA medical marijuana doctor via video call. It will take a few minutes.
  • Receive your medical marijuana recommendation in PDF format via email

 

Pay For Medical Marijuana Identification Card

Pay For Medical Marijuana Identification Card
After getting a physician’s recommendation, you need to complete your PA medical marijuana application. Log in as a returning user on the Medical Marijuana Registry site. Enter the details and make payment.

The cost of a Pennsylvania medical marijuana identification card is $50. You can pay using your Mastercard or VISA. Government programs, such as PACE/PACENET, CHIP, Medicaid, CHIP, SNAP, and WIC may qualify for a discount on a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card.

From the date you made the payment, you will receive your medical marijuana ID card within 14 days via the mail.
Got a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card – Now What?
After getting a medical marijuana identification card, you can legally buy cannabis in Pennsylvania. Visit any state-licensed dispensary and purchase medical marijuana products.

You can search online to find a medical dispensary near you.

If you are unable to visit a dispensary, you can designate a caregiver to buy medical cannabis on your behalf.

In June 2021, Pennsylvania lawmakers approved House Bill 1024, thus extending the allowance of curbside pickup. Learn more about the new regulations.

 

What’s Medical Marijuana Limit in Pennsylvania For MMJ Cardholders?

Under House Bill 1024, medical marijuana patients can now purchase and possess a 90-day supply of cannabis—rather than a 30-day supply. In June 2021, Pennsylvania lawmakers made some temporary changes to the medical marijuana program in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Patients with valid Pennsylvania medical marijuana cards are allowed to possess the following forms of cannabis-

  • Marijuana flowers
  • Creams
  • Liquids
  • Oils
  • Gels
  • Ointments
  • Pills
  • Tinctures

What Are The Qualifying Conditions to Get a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card

If you want to participate in the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program, you must be diagnosed with at least one of the following medical conditions-

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Anxiety disorders [added in 2019]
  • Autism
  • Cancer, including remission therapy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system (brain-spinal cord) with an objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, and other associated neuropathies
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intractable seizures
  • Multiple seizures
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuropathies
  • Opioid use disorder for which conventional therapeutic interventions are contraindicated or ineffective, or for which adjunctive therapy is indicated in combination with primary therapeutic interventions
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette syndrome [added in 2019]

Do I Qualify for a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card?

Pennsylvania residents who are at least 18 years old may qualify for medical marijuana cards. However, they must be diagnosed with at least one PA qualifying condition. Also, they must get evaluated by licensed physicians as discussed above in this guide.

Can a Minor Get a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card?

Yes. A patient under the age of 18 suffering from a debilitating condition may qualify for a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania. However, they must designate a caregiver who is responsible for monitoring their medical marijuana treatment and buying marijuana for them.

For a third-party person to become a caregiver of a minor, they should be designated by the patient’s parents, spouse, or legal guardian. Additionally, they need to submit the caregiver form on the Pennsylvania Department of Health site.

Read on to learn more about caregiver requirements.

 

Who Can Designate a Caregiver in Pennsylvania?

Any patient who needs help for administering their medical marijuana treatment can designate a caregiver. There are three categories of patients who can do so-

  • Minors
  • Adult patients are unable to visit dispensaries
  • Adult patients who need assistance to make their medical decisions

Can I Designate More Than One Caregiver in Pennsylvania?

Yes. When registering for the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program, you can designate up to 2 caregivers who can assist you access cannabis. A caregiver can be your spouse, parent, or friend. By law, caregivers must be at least 21 years old and they should have valid ID cards.

 

What Are the Requirements for Caregivers in Pennsylvania

Patients who qualify for medical marijuana cards in Pennsylvania can designate caregivers to access cannabis. By law, a caregiver can serve up to five medical marijuana patients.

A caregiver must-

  • Be a resident of Pennsylvania
  • Be at least 21 years old (those who are under 21 years of age should send emails at [email protected] explaining valid reasons to become caregivers)
  • Have a Pennsylvania driver’s license or another state-issued ID card
  • Complete a criminal background check
  • Not have been convicted of an offense associated with the sale/possession of drugs, narcotics, or controlled substances in the last 5 years

[To learn more about how to register as a caregiver for a new and existing patient, explore this site.]

 

How Much Will a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card Cost me?

The cost of a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania is around $250. This includes state fees ($50) and physician fees, which may vary from clinic to clinic. Physicians at Online Medical Card provide Pennsylvania medical cannabis recommendations for just $200.

 

Can My Employer Fire Me for Using Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania provides certain employment protections to medical marijuana cardholders. Employers may not discriminate against employees for using medical cannabis. An employer or potential employer can’t legally fire or refuse to hire you just because you are a medical cannabis user.

However, an employer may prohibit an employee from performing the tasks they deem life-threatening to the employee or other employees under the influence of medical marijuana.

No employer may discharge, threaten, refuse to hire or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against an employee regarding an employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, location or privileges solely on the basis of such employee’s status as an individual who is certified to use medical marijuana. – The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act 16

[Click here to learn more about PA medical marijuana employment provisions]

 

What Are Transportation Regulations for Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania?

Patients and caregivers can transport medical marijuana in Pennsylvania as long as it’s not more than the state-approved limit. However, cannabis should be in a sealed container. You can transport medical marijuana in your vehicle (keep it in the trunk of a car).

However, you can’t drive under the influence of medical marijuana. Under Pennsylvania law, an individual found with any trace of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or its metabolites in the blood can be charged as DUI.

Currently, the law considers registered medical users to be over DUI limits at all times. To protect medical marijuana patients from DUI penalties, Sen. Maria Bartolotta has introduced Senate Bill 167. As per the new PA medical marijuana DUI bill, police would have to demonstrate that a medical user was actually impaired while driving their vehicle.

 

Where Is it Safe to Consume Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania?

You can’t consume medical marijuana anywhere in Pennsylvania. The state allows registered patients to use cannabis in their homes and private residences. However, it doesn’t matter which consumption method you are using to take the medicine.

MMJ consumption method

How to Renew a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card?

Here are steps to get a medical marijuana renewal in Pennsylvania-

  • Log in to your account on the Medical Marijuana Registry site as a returning user
  • Review and update your personal details and click “renew my application”
  • Get evaluated by a medical marijuana doctor
  • Receive your renewed card

You will get an email 2 months before your medical marijuana ID card expires. If you don’t make the payment before the due date, your ID will be deactivated. And, to reactivate it, you need to pay the annual payment.

Can I Take Medical Marijuana to the Other States?

No. According to Pennsylvania law, medical marijuana patients are allowed to transport cannabis in the state only. Patients trying to cross state lines with cannabis may face charges. You should contact the Department of Health to learn about regulations related to transporting cannabis with you.

Can I Use my PA Medical Marijuana Card in the Other States?

It depends on where you are visiting. Here’s the list of states that allow medical marijuana reciprocity-

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island

So, before planning your trip to a state, make sure you check their regulations for out-of-state medical marijuana patients.

Can I Legally Grow Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania?

No. Cultivation of medical marijuana for personal use is not allowed in Pennsylvania. You can be arrested for cultivating even one cannabis plant. The penalties will depend on the number of plants you are growing.

Hope you learned how to get a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania. Apply for your medical card and start using it legally today.

Have any questions related to applying for a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card? Feel free to start a conversation in the comments below.

Online Medical Card Team