Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Program

In April of last year, Governor Wolf signed into law Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis legislation.

Pennsylvanians suffering from numerous illnesses including cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, and Parkinson’s Disease are qualified to obtain medical marijuana in the form of pills, oils and creams – but not in plant form.

A patient must be certified by a physician and issued a patient ID card.  Government assistance and private health insurers are not required to reimburse patients for medical marijuana costs.

Last month, the Pennsylvania Health Department released applications for growers and dispensers.  Permit approvals will be announced this June.

Joining us on Wednesday’s Smart Talk to discuss the implementation of the state’s medical marijuana program are Christine Brann, an attorney with JSDC Law Offices, who advocates for the use of medical cannabis; April Hutcheson from the Pennsylvania Department of Health who will talk about the state’s role; Kevin Provost, co-founder of Greenhouse Ventures Partnership in Philadelphia, a consultancy firm that help to grow businesses supporting the marijuana industry and Dr. Andrew Rosenstein, CEO of Steep Hill , a laboratory that tests cannabis for safety and efficacy headquartered in Maryland.

Kevin Provost and Dr. Rosenstein will be speaking at the World Medical Marijuana Business Conference and Expo April 21st and 22nd in Pittsburgh; it is the first large-scale, physician-led conference for healthcare providers and patients interested in medical marijuana.

Emails

“My husband currently is on prescription pain killers for chronic neuropathy.  He would be a good candidate for medical marijuana, which we hope will help him.  I have two concerns.

I have a hard time with children only being able to obtain a card at this time….what makes an adult less “deserving” of relief?

My second concern is what would a prescription cost?   Being on Medicare, I’m sure his Part D won’t be covering that.

The lack of a directory is troubling – why can’t the state come up with a doctor referral system?   You are forcing people to doctor shop by not providing this service! You have a database to control opiods, why can’t you use this with medical cannabis?”

– Michelle

“My daughter has Rheumatoid Arthritis and cannabis seems much safer for pain relief. How do we petition the state to add that diagnosis to the list of approved conditions?”      

– Joanne

Source: Rich Copeland – Producer, WITF’s Smart Talk
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