The PA Senate pushed for medical marijuana by passing legislation for a medical marijuana bill for the second time in 11 months.
Pittsburgh News Station WTAE reports that PA legislators supporting the medical marijuana bill are hoping that PA Governor, Tom Wolf, will have the bill on his desk, and subsequently approve it, by the end of this week.
Governor Wolf has supported implementing a comprehensive public medical marijuana program in PA. This would make PA the 24th state to practice such medical marijuana programs.
Wolf and PA legislators supporting the medical marijuana program have received opposition from The PA Medical Society, thus holding the medical marijuana bill back prior.
The PA Senate pushes the medical marijuana bill through the House of Representatives this time with small changes to the legislation from last month. The PA medical marijuana bill passed 42-7.
However last time, the House of Representative were in favor 149-43 on passing the medical marijuana bill.
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Nevertheless, the revised PA medical marijuana bill establishes standards for patients to obtain marijuana for therapeutic purposes and for the treatment of other ailments.
Dispensaries/producers will also have standards for tracking plants and licensing growers regulated by the PA medical marijuana bill.
The medical marijuana bill states that patients can use marijuana in pill, oil, liquid, topical (gel) form, vaporization treatment, and ointment, and may only be dispensed as such.
Dispensaries cannot issue the drug in a manner which the patient can smoke.
The PA senate will also get to decide who will hold one of the 25 licenses to grow in PA and operate one of the projected 50 dispensaries across the state to get started.
Owners will be allowed to run up to three medical marijuana dispensaries, according to the PA senate legislation.The bill also states that patients will not be allowed to grow their own marijuana for sale or personal consumption.
The PA senate legislation is also to implement powerful statutes against patients abusing medical marijuana.
In order to obtain medical marijuana from PA dispensaries, patients are required to present a physicist certification registered with the Department of Health.
PA medical marijuana patients must also have their valid identification card handy with their name, address, and date-of-birth listed on the card.
To be prescribed legal medical marijuana in PA, patients must be diagnosed with the following.
- HIV; AIDS
- Parkinson's disease
- multiple sclerosis
- damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
- inflammatory bowel disease
- Huntington's disease
- Crohn's disease
- post-traumatic stress disorder
- intractable seizures
- sickle cell anemia
- neuro pain
- severe chronic or intractable pain
The PA Senate will also track medical marijuana growers and processors. They will do so by implementing an electronic inventory tracking system which will ultimately be monitored by the U.S. Department of Health.
This will go beyond PA legislators by tracking all medical marijuana transactions on the HHS' database. The system will ideally track a marijuana plant from the time it is a seed until it is purchased.
PA legislators will also set the regulations for medical marijuana pricing.
Do you think that PA is getting close to legalizing medical marijuana?
[Photo via Getty Images/Chris Hondros]