Is Marijuana Legal In Pennsylvania

Is marijuana legal in Pennsylvania

If you are resident in Pennsylvania or someone who is visiting and looking to toke up then it is very important that you get aware of the marijuana law of Pennsylvania otherwise you may commit a felony that results in incarceration and a fine.

If you are looking for a safe place to smoke weed in Pennsylvania for fun, then you will be surprised to know that there are none because recreational marijuana is still illegal here, but you can certainly use it if it’s prescribed to you by a doctor. Although there are certain changes that occur in the marijuana law in 2021 that most people are not aware of, In this blog we are gonna talk about all there is to know about marijuana use in Pennsylvania.

How to legally smoke weed in Pennsylvania?

In 2016, A bill called Medical Marijuana  Act 16 was passed which makes medical use of marijuana legal in the state of Pennsylvania but you need to have a proper prescription from a doctor who is associated with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH). Although there are several qualifying conditions under which a patient can obtain a prescription from a doctor for marijuana use in PA which are:
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Lou Gehrig’s disease

  • Cancer, including remission therapy

  • Crohn’s disease

  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with an objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity

  • Epilepsy

  • Glaucoma


  • Huntington’s disease

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

  • Intractable seizures

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Neurodegenerative diseases

  • Neuropathies

  • Sickle cell anemia

  • Neurodegenerative diseases

  • Terminal illness

  • Parkinson’s Disease

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • 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.
  • 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.

If a person is suffering from any of the given symptoms, He/She is eligible to apply for a medical marijuana card by contacting the Pennsylvania health department and an approved physician will then verify this, after which you are eligible for an ID card that will help you purchase marijuana from local PA dispensaries.

Or you can also become a caregiver to a person who is suffering from underlying conditions and purchase marijuana on his/her’s behalf but certain criteria must be met for becoming a caregiver such as:

Caregivers must be of 21+ years old Pennsylvania resident with a valid state-issued ID card or Pennsylvania Drivers license, and He/She must not be convicted of any criminal offense related to drug and narcotics-related issues in the last 5 years.

If the above criteria are met, A person can become a caregiver and is allowed to contact the Department of Health for an ID Card on behalf of the patient that can allow purchase marijuana at a legal dispensary. The cost of a medical marijuana ID card is 50$. Also, if the patient is of below 18 years old then He/She is only allowed to purchase Cannabis through a caregiver.

So if you are a caregiver or a patient, you can get your Marijuana ID card by directly registering with Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program online.

New marijuana laws in Pennsylvania

In the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic, Pennsylvanian lawmakers passed new improved legislation (PL 210) on June 2021, which made several changes in the current cannabis law.

These changes are:

  • A patient or caregiver can purchase up to 90 days of marijuana supply which was previously limited to 30 days supply which means you can purchase 3 times more marijuana.
  • Any kind of chronic pain will be allowed as a symptom for medical marijuana use, previously it was only qualified if “conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective.”
  • Marijuana businesses can have employees and financial backers with misdemeanor and drug-related nonviolent felonies that are at least 10 years prior.
  • Caregivers can have a more vast area of work such as a patient can now assign an individual as a caregiver who works in home health, palliative care, long-term care, and more such practices. Previously the relationship between a caregiver and patient was required to be more personal in nature.
  • The limit to which a caregiver can assist a number of patients is removed. Previously a caregiver can only work for up to 5 patients.
  • New qualifying conditions were added to the list, such as cancer remission therapy, damage to the nervous tissue of the brain, and nephropathy associated with nervous tissue damage, there was also room for other qualifying conditions.
  • Allowing a 30 day period each year where a producer can bring new genetics of strains outside of Pennsylvania.
  • Allowing cultivators to contact more than one laboratory for testing purposes.
  • Allowing dispensaries to contact remote physicians rather than being physically present and also allows the dispensary to do home deliveries of the marijuana to some extent.

In short, these new laws benefit the people of Pennsylvania in a lot of ways, I.e. A person can Now purchase 3 times more Weed than he/she previously could, there has been ease of restrictions given to the people with past drug convictions working and owning a marijuana business, A person with chronic pain can directly try marijuana without trying a heavy painkiller first, and it also empowers Medical Marijuana Advisory board to consider new medical conditions for eligibility. Also keeping the COVID19 disaster in mind, A patient is now eligible to remotely acquire marijuana from a dispensary in a safe and secure manner.

There has also been ease in the kind of cannabis product a patient can purchase in Pennsylvania. Previously the only type of medical marijuana was allowed were in the form of oils, gels, cream, pills, liquid, and in non-plant form, but in revised Department of Health regulations, the flower and plant form cannabis is allowed. but still, you can not use cannabis in its natural forms like smoking and edibles, but vaping is allowed.

Is Homegrown and selling of marijuana allowed?

Now if you are wondering if you can grow your own Weed in Pennsylvania then the answer is generally No, The government is only allowed to have a total of 25 grower permits which is generally not available for regular citizens, and under no other condition, a person is allowed to legally grow marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania.

Same with the dispensaries, As the government only allowed permits to up to 50 dispensaries where a dispensary can serve at 3 locations, making a maximum of 150 dispensaries for the State.

Law and Legal Action for Marijuana

There are certain actions the Law and Authority can take if a person is using marijuana unlawfully such as:

Currently in Pennsylvania, You are allowed to have a small amount of marijuana and it is not punishable in certain cities like Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, York, State College, Philadelphia, Erie, Lancaster, Bethlehem, and Steelton.  Possession and distribution of over 30 grams of cannabis are illegal which is punishable by up to 500$ of fine and 30 days of imprisonment.

If you are caught growing marijuana you will be heavily fined and can get incarcerated in prison for up to 4 years.

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