Pennsylvania: Lawmakers Give Final Approval To Medical Marijuana Measure

oil_bottlesHouse and Senate lawmakers have signed off on legislation, Senate Bill 3, to permit the production and use of medical marijuana products to qualified patients.

Members of the Senate initially approved the measure in 2015. House leadership delayed acting on the bill for several months until finally passing an amended version of SB 3 in March.

Senate and House members voted this week in favor of a concurrent version of the proposal. The measure now goes before Gov. Tom Wolf, who supports patients’ access to medical cannabis and has pledged to sign the bill into law.

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 include intractable pain, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, cancer, seizure disorders, and autism, among others. 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.)

Once signed into law, Pennsylvania will become the 24th state to permit the use of physician-recommended cannabis.

31 thoughts

  1. I have a terminal disease and I fought for this law for 5 years. Thanks to Sen’s Folmer and Leach who drove this bill into law !

    1. Good I am rely glad to here that your final getting what u need. Sorry about ur illness, I’m disabled myself. Have a good day and a better tomorrow.

  2. Even if $moking not permitted, the OK to Vaporization is surely the positive incremental step NORML has been supporting. Some who may object to the $600 Volcano price are urged to check the free wiki “12 Easy Ways to Make Vape Toke Utensils in Your Garage from $1.29 worth of Parts” article.

  3. The Governor is supposed to have a photo-op signing of the bill into law this coming Sunday afternoon, according to television network news affiliates serving the greater Harrisburg area.

    Pennsylvania legalizes medical marijuana — Capitol erupts in joy

    Gov. Tom Wolf ‘proud and excited to sign’ medical marijuana bill

    Like I mentioned before, this is a bonk over the head of the UNGASS palaver coming up for them to DE-SCHEDULE CANNABIS INTERNATIONALLY. Remove the obstacles to doing medical research into the positive uses for cannabis derivatives and combinations. Presupposing the uselessness of cannabis has set our medical knowledge about the usefulness of this plant and that leading to cures for serious illnesses, and I mean beyond a much clearer understanding and treatment of seizure disorders.

    Pennsylvania really needs the money from legal adult recreational. Senator Leach and pro-cannabis state politicians should move legislation to the ready for Pennsylvania to implement adult recreational to coincide with bring medical marijuana online BECAUSE CALIFORNIA IS GOING TO LEGALIZE.

    Pennsylvania adult recreational demand is outsourced, and you’re letting the cartels (Mexican) have it. The stat should get that f…ing money instead of them. Maybe Daylin needs to take some teams of politicians and expert technocrats and their entourages to Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and wherever (take me with you!) to see how you can funnel that money around to a well-funded state budget. Bit o’ property tax relief for the old folks.

    1. Oracle,
      I know I’ve said this before, but Congratulations! To you and everyone who worked so hard to pass this bill. You’re an inspiration to people in states like my own in Texas without voter initiatives that we can stand up to Sherriff’s Associations and crooked Congressman and work to get comprehensive medical marijuana legislation passed.

      I want everyone to understand just how brave and effective it is when a person with a terminal illness walks into a Congressman’s office and demands a vote and attention to medical marijuana. When we citizen lobby, we need to let our Congressman know what it takes for a person suffering from seizures or going through chemo just to get in and out of their state capitol without collapsing on a granite floor, much less face the threat of arrest for possession. When we see our Congressman; Explain how concentrates and medibles last longer but often carry harsher penalties so someone with epilepsy has to consume by smoke or vapor which only lasts two hours, which is not enough time to prevent a seizure in THIS office, lobbying for the only safe and effective whole plant medicine available.

      I couldn’t be more proud of what all of us are accomplishing. But for those of us suffering from potentially terminal illness to legalize marijuana in their state legislature let it be known you are heroes, it’s working, and America owes you all a debt of gratitude.
      Thank you.

  4. Canada is going to legalize. Knowing the relationship that Canada has with The Netherlands since liberation from the Nazis, I expect Den Haag to be right there with Trudeau. Jamaica, Switzerland, Italy, Malawi, India, whoever.

    I hope the dipsticks in Vienna are seeing pro-cannabis on Viennese television stations, the print media prodding them in a pro-cannabis direction.

  5. I suffer from chronic pain and because of Obama care have been denied Opiods by doctors , because they are afraid to loose their license. I no longer trust or respect doctors because patients should come first . I have been told by doctors to use Cannibis for chronic pain even though it was illegal in Pennsylvania . How can I ever trust a doctor again ? My belief is Cannibis should be legal period, Rember doctors aren’t allowed to treat chronic pain. Untreated chronic pain is torture.

    1. I see many problems with doctors that don’t treat the number one human complaint of pain.I would honestly think about suing.I don’t think you can replace opioid pain killers for everyone.I am pleased for everyone in PA and hope you get a working system faster than Maryland.

  6. Don’t get to excited because i read today it may take up to 3 years before it gets implemented . I’m 72 and in pain most of the time with 3 ruptured disks in my neck and back I also have glaucoma. I hope they will not be locking people up before we can get relief.God many suffering people will die in pain before they can get relief
    it’s ridiculous to think that something that does NO! harm, have to wait…. and wait… and wait..,
    Thank REPS and Senators who got this much through.
    But the law is arcane and needs to be fixed, you should be able to smoke it and grow it ….. Ok MOM and Daddy government…. MAKE IT LEGAL FOR ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!@!@

    1. Thanks for bringing up this point about waiting time! Someone on this blog previously suggested that 3 years or whatever is just about how much time the presentday enemies of your Medical and my Inspirational rights think it will take to hire the pols to set up a system which preferentially guarantees Them a lion’s share of Profits after cannabis legalization comparable to what they are raking in up to now off their booze, fags, pills, casino, entertainment etc.

  7. I can assure you as being a stage four throat cancer survivor, that medicinal cannabis DOES in fact stop the cancerous cells from multiplying, it kills them the same way (get ready for this) baking soda does as well. Two tablespoons in the morning I’ll n a drink flavored unless you can take the God awful taste…and two in the evening the BS molecular structure makes the molecules from the old Arm and Hammer adhere to the cancerous cells and they smother the cells the same way 34 different ways to kill them with cannabis. My throat now after using a volcano throughout my treatments, I was only then able to eat. It gave me the famous Mumchies! And I forced myself to eat everything I could stuff down my throat. I was scheduled for a blood transfusion because up til three months of not using cannabis and going with surgery, chemo and radiation,y doctors actually recommended I ingest Medicinal grade.cannabis. And to either eat it someway, or Vape it. Which is the way I chose to go. Legal or not,y wife stood 100% behind me, and so did my eleven yr old who actually told us when I was diagnosed that we need to move to California right away so I could use the medicines from the MMJ plant which was doing incredible results against an unknown amount of diseases that are extremely diabilitating diseases. And painful the whole way to the point of wishing death upon ones self. Now I’m also extremely bi polar, I suffer from manic depression and have a serious anti social personality disorder, which I still vaporize it, and it keeps my mood swings totally in check. My family doesn’t deserve to have a father that is basically out of his head half the time. Cannabis has now been a total staple in my life, im my families’ lives. I’m not afraid to stand up and shout it from the mountain tops! Medical organically grown cannabis saves soany lives! Who can say that alcohol ever saved their lives?? Yet, how much is big pharma

  8. Hopefully now that this will go into law, they will be able to pass a few others. As well as allowing smoking in the future. At least this will be passed, as it is long overdue.

    It will be interesting explaining all of this to the young in the future.

    If they allow for medical marijuana for depression, maybe I’ll talk my psychologist into a prescription. It is better then what I take now.

    1. Just want you to know, psycologists get laid and pay for legislation to remain dormant..this time there is a ton of loop holes in the bill period. And one of the gents who helped write and push through the whole process is a Cancer survivor himself. I have to hand it to Senator Folmer, and State Rep. Russ Diamond for their constant diligence to finally get the natural cures from this bill. And to get the patients their medicines.

      God made weed, man made alcohol, and the rest of what started as legal heroin and cocaine which is still being used today in our hospitals! Big pharma wants you to eat their pills that hook all who enter that realm of pain medications. And then once you are hooked they take it away causing our huge heroin problem to continue to grow. Now how does a weed that’s all organically grown, have any addictive tendencies with NO chemicals, in it to get you “hooked” which can not at all make anyone ever steal to provide for a herbal fix? LoL, that’s ludicrous. Karma is gonna touch our entire state in so many positive ways it’s not even funny…

      1. If that is the Russ I know, he use to have a studio underneath where I use to live. He is mostly a nice guy. In 2000 ah. 2004? I voted for him. Anyways, I knew then he was an activist. Back then though, in the 90s, he had a long pony tail. He represented the independent party, ahh, something like that.

        Happy to see he’s doing well in politics.

        Anyways, I am very agreeable. We should be allowed to grow some of this God given plant.

        I am all for smoking of it too, as it shouldn’t be just about vaping. Although vaping is better for you anyway. It is better then tobacco, even when smoked, as it contains around 600 chemicals and tobacco contains as many as 7,000. That is 6,400 more chemicals than I’d like taking into my body.

        Anyways. This is a step in the correct direction, and I hope Pennsylvania will keep heading in this direction, as we need to lead for a change.

        I hope now that this has passed, that they will bring up the recreational marijuana bill again, and maybe it might get further.

        Here’s hoping. 😉

    2. Good point about Depression (alias Deep Prison– you aint Black, are you?)– it is often described as the Number One medical emergency of the human race at the present time.

      And, no surprise, CAUSED by the very stuff they use hatefearteasing, ahem, advertising to trick us into buying– $ugar, alcohol, $igarettes, even prescription pills (read the fine print)– good luck recruiting that ‘Cologist.

      PS– how $igarettes cause Depression? They ENABLE it by helping victims stay alert and awake (the nicotine, get it?) while the Carbon Monoxide and 4221 Combustion toxins help them SURRENDER to the Depression.

      How this $windle works with cannabis Joints? The cannabis, as it should, assures you the promised Uprush* of amazing fascinating ideas– which you can also get from any 25-mg one-heater vape-toke– while the tar/monoxide overdose “stones” you out and you SURRENDER and sit watching your great ideas like they were some funny but forgettable movie. Get wise (alias two eyes), send a detailed email to your ‘Cologist on the one hand and divide carefully purchased tiny quantities of herb into nontoxic 25-mg single tokes on the other.

      *LEAP Long-term Episodic Associative Performance memory

      1. Well, since you seem to be a published expert on this subject, do tell me more all about the science behind the smoking vs. Vaping thing. Cuz you sir are a complete fool, vaping erases ALL chemicals from the cannabis you’ll get is what it’s grown with. Ya use organics..
        Ya get clean unadulterated product. Screw the vape pens screw having the right to even puff it. Right now a Commonwealth State passed any form of decrinalzation in this state is taking huge Leaps forward! And oh by the way LEAP stands for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, go look it up, and while youre at it go learn some horticulture or botany and grow your own since you are an expert on this subject..

      2. With tobacco, due to nicotine effect your head thinks you’re awake but your body can be dummed down by the carbon monoxide at the same time. $moking means carbon monoxide which you can escape by Vaping instead.

        Tobaqckgonomics: in some high tax states a pack-a-day $igarette habit is $4000 a year. The same $moker could buy an E-$ig for, say, $50, and if the battery lasts for a year, and they did one $2 200-puff cartridge each day, that’s $730 plus $50 = $780 a year. Big savings (not to mention their Life).

        If transcomfortizing to Vape is difficult for a habitual person, they could practice using Vape just for cannabis till they get it down then try it with little bits of tobackgo dug out of a $igarette.

        Cannabis: typical Joint half a gram, $5 and up, one of those a day at least $1850 a year.
        What if you made a flexdrawtube oneheater out of #40 screen, 1/4″ pvc and parts costing almost nothing, and averaged two well-timed 25-mg tokes of sifted herb a day, buying less than an ounce a year, figure out the cost difference.

        Efficiency hint: after each toke breathe 30 warm wet W’s in and out of a Breathspielhaus (bread or Hamburger bag) in Honour of the Dawgwagner. You won’t miss the Combustion.

  9. This bill is a betrayal of the medical cannabis movement because it does not include the ability of people with all diseases and conditions to qualify like California and because it soes not allow smoking. Until there is a bill passed in Pensylvanis that allows for cannabis to be smoked by patients and allows for all patients to qualify like in California a true medical marijuana bill will not have been passed. To ask me to support this bill, which is a piece of trash, is to demand that I become a traitor. I will not support this bill and I will not become a traitor. Down with the vaporization of cannabis, up with the smoking of cannabis!

    1. Your complaint is fair if Vaporization only means buying expensive rich guy equipment, fortunately you can Vaporize pretty good with a 25-mg single toke device (flexdrawtube oneheater)– see the free wiki article “12 Easy Ways to Make a Vape Toke Utensil from $1.29 Worth of Everyday Objects Left Lying Around in your Garage by Previous god”.

    2. So… The governor shouldn’t sign the bill Sunday? You do realize California has voter initiatives, and Pennsylvania does not. People really need to lighten up and realize there’s always room to improve these bills later; meanwhile let’s stop arresting the sick and the poor and TREAT the people who NEED cannabis NOW and legally!

    3. I empathize with the frustration of the Pennsylvania cannabis community, and as a Pennsylvania resident am frustrated by how narrowly this initial medicinal marijuana law has been written. It caves to prohibitionists, most notably to prohibitionist law enforcement, because as far as cannabis prohibition enforcement is concerned the dried, cured plant matter remains illegal. No budz! You aren’t permitted to vaporize plant material, and MUST buy their cannabis oil, not necessarily only cartridges, for a vaporizer.

      The Monty-Python-style wink-wink-say-no-more bit of the intent of the legislation making use of cannabis products from out of state, let’s say from Colorado, non-prosecutable so that, let’s say, kids with seizures can get their medicine right away, indicates a reciprocity with out-of-state MMJ doctors who wrote an MMJ recommendation for it. It’s pure lip service to mention you should wait the 18 months for PA to get up and running to be legal AND avoid transporting cannabis across state lines. That pre-supposes you’ll be able to find a Pennsylvania doctor who will jump through the law’s fiery hoops for you.

      Caving to the cops. You can’t grow your own. You can’t bring in any amount of vegetable matter from out of state. They’ll overlook tinctures and non-plant matter preparations recommended by an out-of-state doctor but not honor those that in another state would allow you to buy and use the cured & tested female buds.

      There is so much tweaking that this law will need later to make it acceptable to the broader medical marijuana patients in the state. One way is to make adult recreational legal so that if some dumbass politician has seen to it that your medical situation doesn’t qualify you that you can just go down to the adult retail store and get it anyway. Shame then is that you’ll have to pay tax on the adult retail cannabis transaction for your medicine.

      1. One of the pitfalls of passing marijuana legalization of any kind in a non-voter initiated state is that the burgeoning medical marijuana industry goes to bed with Big Pharma’s 1 molecule-at-a-time anti-whole-plant profit model.

        There is a bone thrown in the PA bill that allows the Department of Health to review the prohibition of dried whole plant flowers in 2 years, which speaks volumes of where GW Pharmaceuticals expects to cash in their piece of patent 6630507 in all the medical marijuana and CBD-only states during these crazy years of quasi-state prohibition.

        The caviat to this privatized prohibition where even the most prohibitionist states like Texas and Virginia are passing these CBD-only laws is that these state legislatures are admitting cannabis is medicine, which only furthers our momentum as we pass the climax majority of legalized states in November.

        Just think of the odds we are up against… Legalizing medically in Pennsylvania, no matter how imperfect, wasn’t even thought possible for 2016 only a year or two ago. We are going to improve the law, yes, but in the meantime the Governor just signed it into law today, so let’s kickback and roll another one to victory… And the many, many more there are to come…

  10. Oh and also, I just left breakfast with Senator Mike Folmer who also thinks your thoughts are totally meaningless when it comes to someone being at least the opportunity to use the plant I some form or the other. Ya wanna face to face about this I’m always available for any debate concerning this issue and no I’m not BLACK if that’s the issue the screw yourself because you are living I a “let’s see how.stupid I can be Bubble”!

  11. Crony capitalism is alive and well in Pennsylvania with the law NOT allowing you to grow your own. Craven caving to cops ensures they don’t have to change because as soon as they smell smoked marijuana and/or they see dried, cured weed they’ll know your MMJ card does NOT protect you from, you guessed it, the New Jim Crow. The New Jim Crow is still alive and well in Pennsylvania, even if in another state you’d be free and clear as an MMJ patient. That’s aside from the fact that adult recreational should be legal anyway.

    Q: Who can be a grower/processor or operate a dispensary?

    A: People with big bucks for one thing, and who go through a lot of state hurdles. Growers/processors will have to put up a $10,000 application fee, an initial registration fee of $200,000, and have $2 million in capital, including $500,000 on deposit in a bank. Dispensaries will have to put up a $30,000 initial registration fee for each location, a $5,000 application fee, and have $150,000 on deposit in a bank.

  12. And with yet another state legalizing medical cannabis the feds are still dragging their feet on legalizing cannabis banking and calling off the IRS dawgz.

  13. If you look at the Governor’s facebook page, top post. He signed the bill. And now PA has medical cannabis. Too bad our government in Ohio is slower than PA of all states when it comes to medical cannabis. Next step, full state legalization and taxation.

  14. I was just wondering why it takes another year to be able to actually get a prescription for it?

  15. What will happen once half the states legalize medically? Anything? Once half the states legalize for recreation then it becomes federally legal is that rumor correct?

    [Paul Armentano responds: That rumor is incorrect. There is no mandate for Congress to amend federal law to comport with state laws.]

    1. Interesting to hear you say that Paul. I have always held the belief that the Supreme Court would not hear a case over the constitutionality of marijuana prohibition unless more than half the voting population legalized, but more importantly, legislatively initiated legalization as Vermont is still poised to do, because Judges so often refer to legislatively initiated law to determine judgements and Congressman so often refer to Supreme Court judgements to make their decisions over a vote.
      My Senator Cornyn keeps referring to a 2001 Supreme Court decision that throws out the idea marijuana is medicine, even though the Texas legislature admited marijuana is medicine last year. (Somehow, CBD made from whole plant cannabis with only .5% THC is not marijuana to Cornyn or Governor Abbot, how does this sick delusion work in Congress?)

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