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Marijuana legalization usually involves two parts – medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. When trying to follow the law in the state you’re in, it’s crucial to understand the regulations of both aspects of the cannabis world. And that leads us to today’s question: Is marijuana legal in Pennsylvania? 

From applying for a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card to understanding the intricate regulations surrounding MMJ, we’re here to give you all the insight you need about medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.  

Does Pennsylvania Have Medical Marijuana?

Yes, medical marijuana has been legal in Pennsylvania since April 6, 2016, when Governor Wolf signed Senate Bill 3, the Medical Marijuana Act, into law.

The law allowed patients with a qualifying condition to buy, use and possess marijuana provided they have a physician certification. The law also put the Department of Health in charge of the state’s medical marijuana program.

While Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana in 2016, it wasn’t until 2018 before the first dispensaries opened and medical marijuana became available to patients in the state. 

What’s the Difference Between Legalized and Decriminalized?

You may have seen the word “decriminalized” many times while reading about marijuana and wondered if it’s the same as legalization. Decriminalization is not legalization.

So, what’s the difference?

Legalization means that the possession and use of cannabis are legal, and no penalties are attached.

On the other hand, decriminalization means the criminal penalties do not apply to cannabis possession and use.

Simply put, anyone the state officials catch with a specified amount of cannabis will face lesser penalties like a fine and no jail time. 

LEARN MORE: Decriminalization vs. Legalization: What it Means for Cannabis

What Medical Marijuana Products are Available in PA?

According to Pennsylvania medical marijuana laws, legal medical marijuana products include topical creams, tinctures, pills, oil, ointments, and forms that can be consumed by vaporization or nebulization. 

Smokeable forms like leaves are not available. 

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in PA

To use medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, you need a medical marijuana card. Fortunately, we know all about the requirements and application process. It’s a simple three-step process:

  1. Confirm that you qualify for MMJ by meeting with a certified physician   
  2. Get a physician’s certification for medical cannabis and apply with the state
  3. Get approved and receive your medical marijuana card

It really is that simple — especially when you have the right resources. Here at Elevate Holistics, we have everything you need to walk you through the PA MMJ process, including doctors that can get you certified right from home. 

For more detailed information about how to get your Pennsylvania medical marijuana card, simply click here

Marijuana Laws in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania marijuana laws help you understand the state’s dos and don’ts of medical marijuana, ultimately ensuring access to marijuana in Pennsylvania without hassles. We’ve discussed these laws briefly below. 

Can Patients Have Caregivers?

Yes, medical marijuana patients in Pennsylvania can designate a caregiver to visit dispensaries and purchase marijuana on their behalf.

A caregiver must be a Pennsylvania resident aged at least 21 and duly registered with the Department of Health.

The law states that minors must have caregivers, and these caregivers may serve up to five patients.

For more information about caregivers, click here

Yes, CBD oil and CBD products are legal in Pennsylvania. CBD products must contain no more than 0.3% THC.

The Department of Agriculture oversees the state’s hemp program, and the Department must license hemp growers.  

Yes, delta-8 is also legal and widely available in Pennsylvania. However, all delta-8 products must be from hemp and contain less than 0.3%.

Delta-8 products derived from marijuana are legal only for medical marijuana patients. 

Can You Grow Weed in Pennsylvania?

Not yet. There are efforts to legalize home cultivation for medical marijuana patients, but presently, weed cultivation is illegal.

Growing weed in Pennsylvania is a felony punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. First offenders may get off with probation.

We’ve written all about Pennsylvania cultivation laws, including recent attempts to legalize home cultivation for medical marijuana patients here

Pennsylvania DUI Laws

Anyone driving under the influence of marijuana in Pennsylvania, even medical marijuana patients, is committing a crime.

Penalties for first-time offenders include up to six months in jail, up to a $5,000 fine, and suspension of driver’s license for one year. 

Where Can I Buy Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania?

If you have a valid Pennsylvania medical marijuana card, you can buy medical marijuana at licensed dispensaries in the state.

Note that your card’s legal protection applies only if you buy from dispensaries that the state has licensed.

You can find the information and locations of all approved dispensaries here. 

LEARN MORE: How to Find the Best Weed Dispensary in Pennsylvania

What are the Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania?

Like every other state, the use of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania depends on certain medical conditions. These qualifying medical conditions include the following:

Who Can Recommend Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania?

Even if you have a qualifying medical condition, you still need a physician certification to apply for a medical marijuana card. 

Only physicians registered as Pennsylvania medical marijuana doctors can issue certifications for medical marijuana patients. You can find a list of approved practitioners here.  

PA Medical Marijuana Limits

If you’re a medical marijuana patient in Pennsylvania, you can buy up to a 30-day supply from licensed dispensaries.

Please note that dispensaries can’t sell more than the PA medical marijuana limits to patients.  

Pennsylvania Decriminalization Bill

Pennsylvania marijuana laws are one of the harshest in the country. Possession of 30 grams or less carries a jail term of up to 30 days and a fine of up to $500. 

Several cities have decriminalized marijuana, including the largest city in the state, Philadelphia. Other cities that have decriminalized marijuana include York, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Steelton, State College, Bethlehem, Lancaster, Erie, and Upper Darby Township.

At the state level, efforts to decriminalize weed in PA have not been successful.  

Pennsylvania Dispensary Rules

PA dispensary laws regulate the operations of dispensaries in the state. Dispensaries must abide by the following Pennsylvania dispensary rules:

  • Dispensaries must possess a permit from the Department of Health before possessing, dispensing, or selling medical marijuana. 
  • Shops must not employ anyone younger than 18
  • Dispensaries can dispense marijuana only to patients or caregivers who present a valid medical marijuana card.
  • Dispensaries cannot dispense marijuana greater than the legal limit.
  • Cannabis dispensaries can’t dispense marijuana greater than the amount stated on the patient’s certification.
  • Dispensaries must have a physician or pharmacist on site during opening hours.
  • No one under 18 is permitted to enter a dispensary unless the person is a patient accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or caregiver. 

Elevate Holistics: Enjoying Medical Marijuana Legally

If all these cannabis laws and regulations feel too much, don’t worry. At Elevate Holistics, we’ve made it our job to help you make sense of marijuana issues and laws so you can make informed decisions.

For more information on medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, see our FAQ cannabis page.

We have a full-option marijuana service tailored to cater to all your marijuana needs. Elevate Holistics can help you get your medical marijuana card, set up an appointment with a qualified doctor, or help find a licensed dispensary. We do all the heavy lifting so you can sit back, relax and enjoy your PA weed.

Click the scheduler below to book an appointment with a certified physician in Pennsylvania.

Wait! Before you go…

Do you know someone who could benefit from medical cannabis? Here at Elevate, we make the MMJ card process effortless. Simply send them our way and we’ll help them get a medical card at an affordable price — right from home. Plus, we have various services beyond just getting you your MMJ card.

Do you live somewhere where recreational cannabis is legal? Believe it or not, you could probably benefit from a medical card more than you think. MMJ cards help you save serious money, you get priority at your local shops, and you likely can buy (and maybe even grow) more weed than before. Click here to read about the benefits of getting an MMJ card; or, click here to book an appointment today.

Get Your MMJ Card Right From Home

Elevate Holistics’ process is quick, affordable, and done entirely online. It’s never been so easy.

About the author

Michael Lawal is a seasoned content writer with specialized expertise in the medical cannabis industry. With a background that blends journalism and health sciences, Michael has a knack for translating complex medical cannabis research into accessible and engaging content. His writing portfolio showcases a range of work from informative articles and research summaries to patient education materials. Committed to raising awareness about the benefits and responsible use of medical cannabis, Michael's work is a valuable resource for both consumers and professionals in the field.
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