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How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in Pennsylvania

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By: burgundy bug

How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in Pennsylvania

Source: The Burgundy Zine

As of April 2019, medical marijuana is available in the form of: flower, vape cartridges, shatter, budder, wax, sap, sauce, sugar, RSO, and capsules at dispensaries across the state of Pennsylvania.

A Bit of Context…

Gov. Tom Wolf (D-PA) signed the medical marijuana program into law in April 2016, making Pennsylvania the 24th state with a comprehensive medical marijuana program, according to Marijuana Policy Project.

However, it wasn’t until April 2018 that dispensaries began cropping up around Pennsylvania.

Since then, 46 dispensaries have opened their doors to thousands of patients, the PA Department of Health (DOH) reports.

As of March 2019, Pennsylvania has collected $2,185,632.23 in tax revenue from medical marijuana, the PA Department of Revenue (DOR) reports.

How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in PA

Qualifying Conditions

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intractable seizures
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuropathies
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease;
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Terminal illness

If you have been diagnosed with one of the qualifying conditions outlined on the PA-DOH website, you may apply for your medical marijuana card.

How to Apply for Your Medical Marijuana Card in Pennsylvania

Before applying for your medical marijuana card, you must visit a doctor who has been approved by the PA-DOH.

In most cases, your insurance provider will not cover the cost of visiting a doctor of medical marijuana.

After an eligible doctor has certified that you are applicable for a medical marijuana card, you must register an account on the PA-DOH Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) website.

Registering on the PA-DOH MMP Website

Patients must provide their:

  • Full name as it appears on their driver’s license or State ID (omit your middle name if it is only on your ID as an initial)
  • Date of birth
  • Driver’s license or State ID number
  • Email address
  • Telephone
  • Home address

There is also a $50 initial registration and annual re-registration fee.

If the patient is under the age of 18, they must apply with a caregiver to oversee your treatment.

PA Code § 1161.30 establishes that no one under the age of 18-years old may enter a dispensary without a parent, guardian, or caregiver.

The sale of medical marijuana to a minor is also prohibited. Although the child may enter the dispensary with their caregiver, only the caregiver can complete the transaction.

A caregiver must be at least 21-years old and pass a background check, according to the PA-DOH.

Additionally, a caregiver may oversee up to five patients who qualify.

After applying and registering, your medical marijuana card will arrive in the mail within 7 to 14 days.

Marijuana Products and Use in Pennsylvania

Marijuana Products Sold in Pennsylvania

The products, strains, and medical marijuana brands will vary from dispensary to dispensary.

That being said, medical marijuana is currently sold in Pennsylvania in the form of:

  • Flower – Available in grams, “eighths” (3.5g) or “quarters” (7g)
  • Vape Cartridges – Available in CO2, Live Resin, Distillates, Pods, or disposable pens
  • Concentrates – Available in sap, budder, sauce, sugar, RSO, or oil and distillate syringes
  • Tinctures – Available in spray or dropper tinctures
  • Capsules – Available in both CBD and THC capsules
  • Topicals – Available in lotion and patches

Although medical marijuana and the sale of “flower” (colloquially referred to as “bud”) is legal in Pennsylvania, it is currently prohibited to smoke marijuana.

However, it is legal to vaporize concentrates and flower.

Medical Marijuana Oil and Concentrates in PA

Medical marijuana oil and concentrates consist of the active compounds found in the cannabis plant, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), tetrahydrocannabinol-acid (THC-A), Cannabidiol (CBD), and terpenes.

Oil and concentrates are classified based on the consistency of the product, how they were extracted, and the materials used from the cannabis plant.

  • Oil is a thick liquid that may be vaporized, applied as a topical medicine, or consumed
  • Sap is sticky and gooey
  • Sauce has its terpenes isolated as crystals during the extraction process. After the separation of terpenes and THC-A crystals, they are recombined and distributed evenly throughout the concentrate
  • Shatter is hard, translucent, and “shatters” when it’s broken
  • Sugar has small to medium sized crystals and minimal separation of the terpenes
  • Batter, Butter, Crumble, and Wax are soft, solid, and generally vaporized. They are whipped or agitated during the extraction process to spread the terpenes out evenly among the entire batch

There are also different classifications of medical marijuana oil:

  • Distillate is a thick liquid of isolated cannabinoids
  • Live Resin are any concentrates made from frozen cannabis plant material and have a high concentration of terpenes
  • Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) is concentrate that is already activated, meaning it can be consumed orally
  • Solventless are concentrates made without a chemical solvent

Once you have obtained your medical marijuana card, you may purchase and use these products in the state of Pennsylvania, or any of the states that currently accept out-of-state medical marijuana cards (Leafly), such as Ohio or Oregon.

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burgundy bug


A cynical optimist and mad scientist undercover, burgundy bug is the editor, graphic designer, webmaster, social media manager, and primary photographer for The Burgundy Zine. Entangled in a web of curiosity, burgundy bug’s work embodies a wide variety of topics including: neuroscience, psychology, ecology, biology, cannabis, reviews, fashion, entertainment, and politics. You can learn more about working with burgundy bug by visiting her portfolio website: burgundybug.com

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