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Pennsylvania Laws & Penalties

Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine  

Possession

30g or less misdemeanor 30 days $ 500
More than 30g misdemeanor 1 year $ 5,000
First possession conviction is eligible for conditional release. Subsequent conviction can lead to a doubled penalty.

Sale or Distribution

30g or less for no remuneration misdemeanor 30 days $ 500
2 - 10 lbs felony 1 year* $ 5,000
10 - 50 lbs felony 3 year* $ 25,000
Less than 1000 lbs felony 3 years $ 25,000
More than 1000 lbs felony 10 years $ 100,000
Within 1000 ft of a school or within 250 ft of recreational playground punishable by 2-4 years in prison.
To a minor, or after a previous drug conviction, brings doubled penalties.
Courts are authorized to increase the maximum fine to exhaust all proceeds from drug sales.
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Cultivation

10 - 21 plants felony 1 year* $ 5,000
22 - 51 plants felony 3 years* $ 15,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Hash & Concentrates

Possession of 8 g or less misdemeanor 30 days $ 500
Possession of more than 8 g misdemeanor 1 year $ 5,000
Manufacture felony 5 years $ 15,000
Penalties for selling or trafficking hashish or concentrates are the same as the trafficking penalties for marijuana. Please see the marijuana penalties section for further details.

Paraphernalia

Possession or sale of paraphernalia misdemeanor 1 year $ 2,500
To a minor at least 3 years younger misdemeanor 2 year $ 5,000

Miscellaneous

Suspension of driving privileges upon receiving a conviction of any offense involving the possession, sale, delivery of any controlled substance.

Penalty Details

Marijuana is a Schedule I drug.

See: Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes

Possession

Possession of 30g or less is a misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Possession of more than 30g is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

First possession conviction is eligible for conditional release, wherein the offender gets probation for up to a year instead of jail time.

A second or subsequent conviction can lead to a doubled penalty.

See:

  • Controlled Substance, Drug Device and Cosmetic Act: 35 P.S.§ 780-113
  • Controlled Substance, Drug Device and Cosmetic Act: 35 P.S. §780-113(a)(16)
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 106
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1101
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1103
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1104

Sale or Distribution

Distribution of 30g or less of marijuana for no remuneration is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Sale of less than 1,000 lbs. is a felony punishable by up to 3 years in jail and a $25,000 fine. If the offender has a prior drug conviction, then the mandatory sentence is 3 years and the mandatory fine will be $25,000. The court is authorized to increase the fines beyond the maximum to exhaust the proceeds of the crime.

Selling 2-10 lbs. of marijuana carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year in jail and a $5,000 fine. These penalties are doubled if the conviction is a second or subsequent drug offense or if the sale is to a minor. The court is authorized to increase the fines beyond the maximum to exhaust the proceeds of the crime.

Sale of more than 1,000 lbs. is a felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $100,000 fine. These penalties are doubled if the conviction is a second or subsequent drug offense or if the sale is to a minor. The court is authorized to increase the fines beyond the maximum to exhaust the proceeds of the crime.

Delivery of marijuana within 1,000 ft of a school or within 250 ft. of recreational playground is punishable by 2-4 years in prison.

Distribution to a minor by one over the age of 21 is a felony and brings doubled penalties upon conviction.

See:

  • Controlled Substance, Drug Device and Cosmetic Act: 35 P.S.§ 780-113
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 106
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1101
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1103
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1104

Cultivation

Possession of 10 to 21 marijuana plants is a felony punishable with a mandatory 1 year sentence and a $5,000 fine. The penalty may be doubled if the conviction is a second or subsequent offense.

Possession of 22 to 51 marijuana plants is a felony and will be punished with a mandatory 3 year sentence and a $15,000 fine. The penalty may be doubled if the conviction is a second or subsequent offense.

See:

  • Controlled Substance, Drug Device and Cosmetic Act: 35 P.S.§ 780-113
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 106
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1101
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1103
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1104

Hash & Concentrates

Hashish and THC concentrates are Schedule 1 drugs.

See:

  • 35 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. §780-102
  • 35 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. §780-104(i)(iii)(16)

Possessing less than 8 grams of hashish or concentrates is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine no greater than $500 and/or a term of imprisonment no greater than 30 days. Possessing more than 8 grams of hashish or concentrates is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine no greater than $5,000 or a term of imprisonment no greater than 1 year.

See:

  • 35 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. §780-113(b)
  • 35 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. §780-113(g)

Manufacturing hashish or concentrates is a felony punishable by a fine no greater than $15,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no greater than 5 years. Subsequent convictions for manufacturing hashish are punishable by a fine no greater than $30,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no greater than 10 years.

See:

  • 35 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. §780-113(a)(30)
  • 35 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. §780-113(f)(2)
  • 35 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. §780-115(a)

The offenses and penalties for selling or trafficking hashish or concentrates are the same as the trafficking penalties for marijuana. For more information see Pennsylvania's marijuana laws section of this website.

Any device or equipment used to manufacture or create hashish or concentrates is considered drug paraphernalia. Possession of any such device or equipment is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine no greater than $2,500 and/or a term of imprisonment no greater than 1 year. Manufacturing or selling any such device or equipment is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine no greater than $2,500 and/or a term of imprisonment no greater than 1 year. If any such device or equipment was sold to a minor, the offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree punishable by a fine no greater than $5,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no greater than 2 years. Advertising the sale of any such device or equipment is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine no greater than $2,500 and/or a term of imprisonment no greater than 1 year.

See:

  • 35 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. §780-102(b)
  • 35 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. §780-113(a)(31)-(34)
  • 35 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. §780-113(i)

Paraphernalia

Possessing or selling paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable with up to 1 year in jail and a fine of not more than $2,500. Delivering paraphernalia to a minor who is 3 or more years his junior is a second degree misdemeanor punishable by not more than 2 years and a fine not exceeding $5,000.

See:

  • Controlled Substance, Drug Device and Cosmetic Act: 35 P.S.§ 780-113
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 106
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1101
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1103
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1104

Sentencing

Sentencing for marijuana crimes in PA varies by the weight of the plant matter seized.

PA has a mandatory minimum sentence of 1 year in prison for selling 2-10 lbs. of marijuana or for possessing 10-21 plants.

PA has a mandatory minimum sentence of 3 years for selling 10-50 lbs. of marijuana or for possessing 21-51 plants.

In PA, all first time drug convictions not regulated by the mandatory minimum sentencing requirements have the possibility for probation for a first offense.

A second or subsequent drug related conviction makes the offender eligable for double penalties, including of PA's mandatory minimum sentences.

See:

  • Controlled Substance, Drug Device and Cosmetic Act: 35 P.S.§ 780-113
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 106
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1101
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1103
  • 18 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1104

Miscellaneous

The department shall suspend the operating privilege of any person upon receiving a certified record of the person's conviction of any offense involving the possession, sale, delivery, offering for sale, holding fr sale or giving away of any controlled substance under the laws of the US, this Commonwealth or any other state. (1st offense six months, 2nd one year, 3+ two years).

See:

  • 75 Pennsylvania CONS. STAT. § 1532(c)
Conditional Release

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual's criminal record does not reflect the charge.

Drugged Driving

This state has a per se drugged driving law enacted. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. Further information about cannabinoids and their impact on psychomotor performance is available here. Additional information regarding cannabinoids and proposed per se limits is available here.

Mandatory Minimum Sentence

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to "life MMS" must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.



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