Pennsylvania is one of the 37 states that has legalized the use of medical marijuana—more commonly known as MMJ.
In 2016, the state legalized medical marijuana, giving patients suffering from various medical conditions the chance to find relief from their symptoms with this alternative form of medication.
Despite it being legal, people who want to use MMJ for treatment will still need a medical marijuana card (MMJ Card) to purchase and use it.
Before you start using MMJ for treatment in Pennsylvania, there are several things you should know.
MMJ and recreational marijuana are different things
Your Pennsylvania MMJ card will allow you to purchase MMJ legally, but possessing any part of the marijuana plant for recreational purposes is still illegal.
Also, failing to comply with the state’s MMJ laws while using the drug may be considered recreational use, even if you never intended to use it in such a way.
It’s also important to remember that substances in medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are different—MMJ has less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive component of marijuana that makes people feel euphoric.
Recreational marijuana has a higher THC content, so you must understand the difference between these two forms of marijuana so that you don’t inadvertently use recreational marijuana.
Pennsylvania still has strict cannabis laws
Even when you have an MMJ card, there are several crucial MMJ laws in Pennsylvania that you need to follow. These rules are in place not just for your safety but for the safety of others as well.
Here are a few important MMJ rules in Pennsylvania that you need to know about:
- Growing your own MMJ is still legal in the state.
- You can only use MMJ at home or in a private residence. Depending on company policies, some workplaces may allow employees to use MMJ on their premises. However, this is very rare.
- Patients may transport MMJ within a sealed container, but they cannot cross state lines with it in their possession.
Make sure that you fully understand the state’s current MMJ laws before starting your MMJ treatment.
You can only possess a certain amount of MMJ
As an MMJ user, there’s a limit to how much MMJ you can possess. Presently, MMJ users in Pennsylvania can purchase up to three months’ worth of the product from licensed dispensaries.
Previously, the users were only allowed a 30-day supply, but this changed after an update to the state’s MMJ laws in 2021.
More qualifying medical conditions may be added
Several medical conditions qualify for MMJ treatment; however, the recognized conditions can vary between states. For instance, medical conditions eligible for treatment in other states may not qualify in Pennsylvania—hepatitis C qualifies in Washington, but not Pennsylvania.
Some qualifying conditions in Pennsylvania include:
- Huntington’s disease
- Neurodegenerative diseases
The list of qualifying conditions in Pennsylvania was recently expanded; this could mean that if your condition didn’t qualify before—it may now. So, make sure to check in regularly to see if your medical condition is eligible for MMJ treatment.
You can ask an MMJ certification center for help
The process of applying for an MMJ card can be a long one if you’re not entirely familiar with the process. Today, Pennsylvania has special organizations that focus on helping individuals with qualifying medical conditions get MMJ for treatment.
These places make the process much easier and more streamlined and they give you all the guidance, support, and knowledge you need to get yourself certified and start using MMJ for treatment.
If you’re not sure where to start on your journey towards getting an MMJ card—a visit to one of these centers may help you.