How do I become a medical marijuana patient in Pennsylvania?
If you live in Pennsylvania and have a qualifying medical condition, you must obtain a medical marijuana recommendation from a Pennsylvania-licensed physician and apply for a medical marijuana card from the Department of Health. Please visit our Get a Card page for step-by-step instructions on how to become an approved patient.
What are the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania?
Patients diagnosed with any of the following conditions are eligible to participate in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
- Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
- HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) / AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
- Huntington’s Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Intractable Seizures
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Neurogenerative diseases
- Opioid use disorder for which conventional therapeutic interventions are contraindicated or ineffective or for which adjunctive therapy is indicated in combination with primary therapeutic interventions
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective
- Sickle Cell Anemia
- Terminal illness
Are patients permitted to cultivate medical marijuana?
No. Home cultivation is not permitted in Pennsylvania.
How much medical marijuana should a patient take?
Dosage depends on the needs of the individual patient and can vary greatly. Patients experiencing severe chronic pain may consume several moderate to strong doses per day, while patients seeking help with appetite or sleep may sometimes only require a smaller single dose at the onset of symptoms. We provide our patients with instruction in how to carefully adjust dosage to achieve the desired effect.
How will my privacy be protected?
Patient records will be maintained by your doctor and the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Strict rules protect the privacy of these records, including the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. Your identity and patient status in the medical marijuana program may never be disclosed to anyone without your prior authorization. We take patient privacy very seriously are will gladly answer any questions or concerns you have about this important issue.
What does science say about medical marijuana?
Medical marijuana has been studied extensively by the scientific community and a great deal is known about the therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant. Americans for Safe Access has some great resources available online for patients and doctors who want to learn more about the science of medical marijuana, including a selection of booklets on the use of medical marijuana to treat specific conditions. We also recommend this article by Dr. Sanjay Gupta at CNN who writes about how he became a strong supporter of medical marijuana after researching the issue in depth. Columbia Care PA is committed to providing our patients with up to date research and important developments.
Where does the medical marijuana come from?
All medical cannabis is produced in Pennsylvania at one of a few licensed cultivation centers. These facilities are carefully regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health and must follow strict guidelines to ensure product safety. Dispensaries may not acquire marijuana products from any source other than the licensed and regulated facilities.
I’ve never been to a medical marijuana dispensary. How does it work?
A medical cannabis dispensary is a simple, secure facility designed to provide access for patients to receive their medicine in a safe, welcoming environment. Qualified patients or their caregivers must present their state-issued ID cards at the door. No one else is permitted to enter the establishment other than registered employees attending to the facility. Once inside, visitors are greeted by a friendly staff who are happy to answer questions about the medicine and to help the patient make decisions based on their individual health needs. The patient or caregiver then makes their selection, purchases the medicine, and exits. Security staff monitor events inside and outside the facility.
Do Pennsylvania dispensaries accept medical cards from other states?
No. Only Pennsylvania-issued medical marijuana cards are accepted at Pennsylvania dispensaries.
When will medical marijuana be available for purchase at Columbia Care Pennsylvania?
Our Scranton dispensary is currently open and serving patients. Two additional locations in Northeastern PA will be announced soon.
What medical marijuana products are permitted at Pennsylvania dispensaries?
Pennsylvania law allows medical marijuana to be dispensed in the form of dry leaf for vaporization, pills, oils, topicals (gels, creams, ointments), tinctures, and liquids. Smokeable forms are not permitted.
Is there a list of doctors who can approve patients for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania?
Yes. The Department of Health provides a list of approved practitioners.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We currently accept cash only.
What discounts do you offer?
We currently have discounts available for SSI/SSDI/Medicare, Veterans and person of age 65+. Please inquire at the dispensary for more information.