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In 2016, Pennsylvania lawmakers passed the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act. This Act provides a legal basis for medical use of cannabis for those with qualifying conditions. If a physician certifies that you have a qualifying, serious medical condition, you can participate in the state’s program. It allows you to obtain a permit from the state and to purchase cannabis products at licensed dispensaries.
Now, much to the excitement of people in Philadelphia, the first legally licensed dispensary, Restore Integrative Wellness Center, is about to open for business. The law in Pennsylvania restricts dispensaries from selling natural-state cannabis intended for smoking. Only products intended for safer consumption methods are legal for sale. In other words, you won’t find jars or sealed containers of smokeable flower at legal dispensaries in Pennsylvania.
This shop will sell cannabis extracts in pill form, as well as extracts in oil form. They will also have topicals, such as ointments and gels They will also sell cannabis ready for vaporization or nebulization. Finally, tinctures and liquid suspensions will be available for purchase. People who have already applied will not doubt feel grateful for safe retail access to their medicine.
Of course, the medical cannabis program in Pennsylvania is relatively restrictive. In addition to limiting what products dispensaries can sell, they also have a very specific list of conditions that can qualify a patient for participation. There are currently seventeen qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Pennsylvania. They are:
- Intractable Seizures
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Huntington’s Disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Crohn’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
- 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.
Unlike many other states, such as Michigan, where progress for patients has been painstakingly slow, Pennsylvania was able to take their medical law from a proposed act to a reasonable program in only a few years. Dispensaries have opened previously in smaller towns. Now Philly joins many other cities in embracing the potential of medical cannabis businesses.
For previous Ladybud content about the city of Philadelphia, click here.