Governor Tom Wolf on Sunday, April 17, signed legislation, Senate Bill 3, to permit the production and use of medical marijuana products to qualified patients.
NORML would like to thank those of you who advocated on behalf of this effort for the past several years. NORML would especially like to acknowledge the diligent work of Philly NORML, who helped make this law reality.
Senate Bill 3 permits regulators to license up to 25 marijuana cultivators and processors, and up to 150 dispensary locations to provide cannabis products to qualified patients who possess a recommendation from select physicians. Qualifying conditions eligible to receive cannabis therapy are: cancer; HIV; AIDS; ALS; Parkinson’s disease; multiple sclerosis; damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity; epilepsy: inflammatory bowel disease; neuropathies; Huntington’s disease; Crohn’s disease; post-traumatic stress disorder; intractable seizures; glaucoma; sickle cell anemia; autism; neuropathic pain; or severe chronic or intractable pain that is untreatable. The measure permits for the dispensing of herbal cannabis via vaporization, as well as the use of marijuana-infused extracts or oils, but it does not permit smoking. (To date, only two other states — Minnesota and New York — impose similar restrictions regarding patients’ use of herbal cannabis.)
Pennsylvania is the 24th state to permit the use of physician-recommended cannabis and/or cannabis-formulated products. The state’s Medical Marijuana Program is expected to take between 18 and 24 months before it is operational.