Pennsylvania Legalized Medical Marijuana After The Bill Was Signed Into Law on Sunday
Apr 18, 2016 09:04 AM EDT
Pennsylvania has become the 24th state in the U.S. to legalize the use of medical marijuana. The state's Democratic Governor Tom Wolf has already signed a bill that will regulate a comprehensive medical marijuana program on Sunday afternoon.
Governor Wolf signed the bill at a ceremony in the Capitol. The ceremony took place after the Pennsylvania House of Representatives already passed the Senate Bill 3 regulating medical marijuana on Wednesday with a vote of 149-46, as reported by The News Station. Previously, the Senate passed the SB3 on Tuesday with a 42-7 vote.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the bill's drafters say that it could take two more years to write regulations and get retailers opened. However, a provision would allow parents to administer medical marijuana to their children legally before the bill takes effect in a month.
In addition to authorizing up to 50 medical marijuana dispensaries across the Pennsylvania state, the bill also regulates the comprehensive plan and program in that regard. The bill stated the standards for tracking plants and certifying physicians. It will also regulate the licensing policies for growers, dispensaries, and physicians. It's also stated that dispensaries and growers could not be located within 1,000 feet from a school or day care center.
The bill covers 17 specific medical conditions that can be treated legally with medical marijuana. Those conditions include autism, ALS, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, and neuropathies. Even though patients will be granted access to obtain medical marijuana, only certified growers can grow the marijuana.
The bill also stated that patients need to apply for a medical marijuana identification card in order to get access to it. Furthermore, each purchase should be completed with a prescription from a registered doctor.
The Washington Times noted that medical marijuana may only be dispensed as a pill, oil, tincture or liquid in a topical form such as a gel, cream or ointment. Medical marijuana can also be available in a form medically appropriate for vaporization or nebulization. On the other hand, marijuana in a form patients could smoke is prohibited.
Furthermore, the bill also regulates that grower or processor is responsible for a 5 percent tax on the gross receipts from the sale of medical marijuana. The sales are exempt from the state sales tax.
Pennsylvania is now allowing medical marijuana to be consumed accordingly as regulated comprehensively. The program is expected to be fully completed between 18 and 24 months from now. That would make Pennsylvania the 24th state to legalize the use of medical marijuana.