Posted on

Even though registered patients will have to wait another six months before legally obtaining their medication, the final obstacle between The State of Pennsylvania and those who choose to medicate with cannabis has finally been overcome.

The state’s decision comes after the successful pilot program which was begun after Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program was passed into law on April 17 of 2016.

The launch of the patient registry is part of the state’s steady implementation of the 2016 law.

Over the next six months, the state will review applications for registration with the new medical cannabis program.

Doctors, caregivers, growers and dispensary operators now have the green light to sign up for the state’s medical cannabis program. The budding industry is taking its first, vital steps toward patient independence.

One of the prime goals of Pennsylvania’s pilot program for over a year has been to garner support among licensed physicians. In other states, where lack of doctor participation has impeded similar programs, patients had difficulty getting the certification to be able to obtain medical cannabis.

In Pennsylvania, however, the Health Department has approved more than 100 doctors to its program, with more than 200 waiting for their chance to undergo the required state training.

So far, just two grower-processor operations have been approved by the state, with ten more in the queue with the hopes of planting its first crops in the next few weeks.

Puzzingly, Pensylvania has yet to approve a single medical cannabis dispensary, even with such impressive initial interest.

There are currently 17 conditions which qualify for medical cannabis in the State of Pennsylvania. The state has launched a  dedicated website where qualifying patients can create a profile.

The registry website also hosts lists of approved physicians who are granted the power to certify a patient who suffers from any of the qualifying conditions.These doctors are also able to recommend and prescribe cannabis.

For a $50 registration fee and a physician’s recommendation, patients can acquire their medical cannabis ID card. However, patients would not receive their card until May, when dispensaries open.

In the meantime, state officials are issuing “safe harbor” letters which will protect parents from criminal charges for obtaining medical cannabis for children. Pennsylvania has issued about 325 of these letters so far.