On April 17th 2016, Pennsylvania’s governor, Tom Wolf, legalized medical marijuana. On February 15th, 2018 the first of Pennsylvania’s dispensaries opened to the public. As of August 9th, 2018, twenty-seven companies were given licenses to open medical marijuana dispensaries. Lancaster is home to its very own dispensary run by “Cure Pennsylvania” on Fruitville Pike.
According to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, getting medical marijuana through the state’s program requires these 4 steps:
1. Register for the program through the Medical Marijuana Registry .
2. Have a physician certify that you suffer from one of the medical conditions that qualify for medical marijuana.
3. Pay for a medical marijuana ID card.
4. Get medical marijuana from an approved dispensary in Pennsylvania.
The initial visit and consultation costs $200 and the I.D. card costs $50 and must be renewed annually. Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act lists twenty-one conditions that grant eligibility for the medical cannabis program.
Among these conditions are cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, irritable bowel disease, PTSD and conditional opioid use disorder. Medical marijuana has been found to benefit all of the qualifying disorders, listed on pa.gov.
One example of these benefits is that in states with medical marijuana laws opioid overdoses drop by thirty-five percent on average.