Medical Marijuana Legalized in Pennsylvania

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania is now the 24th state in the country to offer medical marijuana.

Governor Wolf signed the bill into law Sunday afternoon at a ceremony in the Capitol rotunda surrounded by advocates and lawmakers.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 3 on Wednesday with a vote of 149-46 after the Senate passed it Tuesday with a 42-7 vote.

SB3 will allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients with qualifying conditions in pill, oil, ointment form, or a liquid form that can be vaporized and inhaled. Smoking will not be allowed.

The medical conditions covered by the bill include:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) / AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
  • Huntington’s Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
  • Intractable Seizures
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Neuropathies
  • 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

Patients will need to apply for a medical marijuana identification card and obtain a prescription from a registered doctor.

The state will allow 50 medical marijuana dispensaries, with each allowed to have up to three locations. Patients will not be able to grow their own plants.

The state’s Medical Marijuana Program is expected to take between 18 and 24 months to get up and running.


  • lewis

    Pennsylvania is so pathetic if people want to live a good life move out of PA trust me Pennsylvania is corrupt that’s why it is the largest selling heroin state and with murder state tap on the wrist judges lmao Pennsylvania grow up worry about bigger things

  • Lucy Hoarder

    Obviously, some drinkers haven’t witnessed a toddler or Sr Citizen having a SEIZURE or completely lost their QUALITY OF LIFE! After 20 yrs carrying US mail, I’m lying FLAT ON MY BACK, diabetic, cancer survivor thus far, my only legacy being to donate my heart to my grangANGEL. ALL bc I married alcoholic, gambling POTHEAD. I’m buying a vapor juicer + everything else that dispenses actual PAIN RELIEF! Thank GOD our state appreciates those that give their lives to benefit the GREATER GOOD! I’ve had HIP replacement surgery canceled 4X but manage to mow grass & pull weeds while employed neighbor’s booze it up, then ignore them driving IMPAIRED!?? Get Real farm d#!@k

  • Eddie Torres

    Great! I can’t buy a 6 pack of beer at a grocery store but now someone whose back hurts is going to be able to get high and most likely have it paid for by the state government or insurance. They’re probably going to drive around baked out of their minds as well and say, “it’s fine bruh, I have a card.” I also find it funny how “advocates” for medicinal marijuana say this legislation doesn’t do enough. Anyone who actually needs marijuana isn’t going to say its not enough, they’re going to be happy a state which still has prohibition era liquor laws has taken a more progressive stance on this issue. The fools who say it is not enough just want to smoke pot all day and be a drain on society. If you want to smoke pot all day move to a place where its legal, that may actually require you to not spend all of your money on pot and get a job though.

    • Mick

      Dude you have no clue.. I can get into this with you and make so many points, that are Saks it would make your head spin , it’s a bill only for oil and seizure medications as of right now, and that’s going to take two years to happen, so keep drinking your six-pack as for that, and benzodiazepines are the only two drugs in this world that you can die from from withdrawal, so I hope you don’t become an alcoholic dude, do some research research before you make a stupid comment

      • Eddie Torres

        No dude you have no clue. First of all, I said nothing about dying from smoking pot did I? Second, I dont know where you read or heard that you can only die from alcohol and benzodiazepine withdrawal but that’s the most idiotic thing Ive ever heard, unless you’re a doctor then I question your credential. You lead me to believe that you prescribe to the school of thought that pot has no ill effects and its good for you and will solve all the worlds problems. Whether or not you believe it, you’re ingesting smoke into your lungs and introducing a foreign substance to your body. Your lungs aren’t going to say, ‘oh it’s only pot, we’re fine.” I also believe that you want a smoke able form legalized for medicinal purposes just so you can smoke it. Please, feel free to move to a state where its legal. If not, smarten up and don’t believe what all the space cowboys say. stay away from the devils lettuce.

    • smokeybones (@smokeybones)

      boy cant make any one cheer up nobody why is everyone is done this happy valley pa hey its medical next is leglize it oh and boy the way not all people that smoke pot are jobless or homeless lot them have good high paying jobs good backgrounds good family good work enviorment they not dumb as you say they are if dont like medical cannibis go to some other country but ways looks of it lot of states are either going medial or leglize all tougher and going after the real drugs not pot. congress to us pa medical cannbis all the way heeeeeee.

    • Kristine

      Do your research the only drugs that can kill you from withdrawal is benzos and alch. Do your research because you sound like a very uneducated person.

    • JD

      Eddie: There’s already a lot of people driving around with their brains baked from different substances. Lighten up. If pot helps people with medical conditions, it should be available to them. If a six pack of beer would help, I’m sure more people would be drinking beer. I wouldn’t wish my pain on my worst enemy, and I wouldn’t wish it on you either.

  • gggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg

    Hopefully weed will be easier to find with all these dispensaries opening up.

  • mcsmama

    Since when do we tax medications? I can see taxing recreational MJ but this is wrong… too much talking out both sides of somebody’s mouth here…

  • Andy

    Actually, it’s the 41’st state to have legalized cannabis in some form. 24 states whole plant, 4 states plus DC recreational, the remainder are Partial plant (CBD oils) that are legal. The federal government is so far behind what America is actually doing.

  • Stephen

    This is an affront to science, and man.

    The effects on the lungs of smoking cannabis has been studied for more than forty years, funded by NIDA, by Dr. Donald Tashkin and his team. They have determined that cannabis does not cause COPD or cancer, and may provide some cancer protection to tobacco smokers who also smoke cannabis.

    Cultivation and smoking have been a part of spiritual practices for millennia, there is no place for this hateful prohibition.

    The state is not a doctor, and has no business practicing medicine.

  • Brett Krum

    What they forgot to list in the things that Marijuana does is that it blurs one’s vision and slows their reflexes. Do we need more people like that driving on our roads? It’s bad enough that we have drunk drivers doing it.

    • Just sayin

      Well here’s the difference between a stoned driver and a drunk driver;

      A drunk driver sees the stop sign, thinks they are invincible and plows through the intersection killing innocent bystanders.
      A stoned driver sees the stop sign and waits for it to turn green.

      The same can be applied to other acts…

      The drunk driver sees the sidewalk and figures he is going to be Tony Hawk.
      The stoned driver sees the sidewalk and stops waiting to see Tony Hawk.

      The drunk driver gets out of the club, sees the cop, thinks he’s smarter than the law and proceeded to kill his best friend in the getaway
      The stoned driver gets out of the club, sees the cop, gets paranoid and walks to his friend’s home.

      Should I go on?


      The drunk sees his ex’s new lover, gets upset, starts a fight and gets knocked out by the first punch.
      The stoner sees his ex’s new lover, gets out another double and invites the new lover to share a doobie all the while telling th new lover how great a love the ex was. Leading to a bond lasting a lifetime.

      Let’s get serious. I ha e personally given end of life care. The average person I’ve treated gets care consisting administration of about 650mg of morphine a day (morphine is simply heroin without an acetyl group… the only difference between heroin and morphine is the binding affinity. Morphine is a simple 3:1 convertion meaning you are basically giving the equivalent off 217-220mg of heroin), the average person requesting marijuana for end of life care is equivalent to 10 grams of mmj a day, or 1 gram of thc a day. Morphine at said doses causes nausea, vomiting, hallucinations, headaches, stupor, irreversible coma (even with Narcan) and death. Cannabis in these doses causes appetite stimulation, decreases nausea, can prevent nausea, causes stupor, creates endocannabinoid mediated/regulated reversible coma (aka the body stops it from going to far), hallucination, calamity, long lasting euphoria, sense of comfort for death and can lead to decreased respiratory function among other things… in the end, it’s what you think is right.

      In everyday treatment, morphine has the same issues… cannabis has similar issues minus death and without problems common in opiate use. Let me treat patients with mmj if they want. It’s their life. And it’s their choice. Want a good read on the positives of cannabis? Read the article published this year titled “Evolution of the Cannabinoid and Terpene Content during the Growth of Cannabis sativa Plants from Different Chemotypes”. And tell me peer reviewed research on the action of cannabis, it’s role in prostate cancer cellular apoptosis by targeting said cancers increase in cb1 receptors of non neurological origin. Tell me it’s lies.

      Then read the CSA (Controlled Substances Act). It specifically prohibits possession of substances such as cannabis by all facilities and entities without proper license. The only entities with free access are government labs which can not publish materials that provide dissention from federal law as the NIDA can only publish studies on drug abuse and not medical application ).

      Either you will drink the government’s kool-aid or you will make an educated choice. I can’t tell you what to do.

    • biggil86

      I guess you could say I used to have similar reservations as you do, until I found out more about medical marijuana specifically via an interview with a high ranking executive in a(n obviously newer) medical marijuana production company. It appears that THC isn’t the only chemical present in high concentration in marijuana; but rather there’s another highly concentrated chemical called CBD. While THC does produce the kind of high that would “blur one’s vision and slow their reflexes”, CBD counteracts such high while still producing pain relieving and other effects. In fact, selective breeding has allowed producers to grow plants that are high in CBD while having very low (if not totally nonexistent) levels of THC. And while THC may cause drowsiness/sleepiness it is believed that CBD counters this and that strains with high CBD to low THC may actually boosts someone’s energy and alertness. Studies of CBD suggests it has medical properties as an antiemetic, anticonvulsant, antipsychotic, anti-infllammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-tumoral/anti-cancer, and anxiolytic/anti-depressant. This discovery is exciting news to those who suffer from chronic pain and/or seizures and/or psychosis, etc.

      • Jesse

        Great points. It is so dependent on how the cannaninoids mix together (the “entourage” effect), that it’s not even just about THC/CBD dominant anymore. Strains for everything! :) The problem I have is that grower’s rights aren’t protected in most states. If the production of cannabis is kept in the hands of the few, it’s only a matter of time until big pharma removes the healing powers because there’s no money in curing diseases. This being said, edibles and vaporizing cannabis are the best delivery methods and are the cleanest, and most harmless ways to medicate – inhaling any smoke is bad news bears. So edibles should not be illegal in child-safe packaging.

      • Just sayin

        Not only CBD but also CBC CBG CBN and even non cannabinoid terpines in cannabis are indicated in medical treatment. Did you know cannabis can naturally make flavinoids also produced by citrus? It’s part of the magical inner workings of some strains.

        One commonly produced flavinoid in marijuana gives both cannabis and lemon the unique “lemony citrus zing” cited in many strain reviews. Other strains produce flavinoids known for giving other fruits and veggies their distinct tastes and odors. Flavinoids also found in cannabis and fruits/vegfies include those found in blueberries, grapes, grapefruit, fermented redwines and more.

        These components are left behind in most extraction techniques (including Co2 supercritical extraction).
        Flavanoids commonly found in cannabis have many properties including anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-microbial (antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral), anti-cancer, and anti-diarrheal activities. Flavonoids have also been shown to inhibit topoisomerase enzymes and to induce DNA mutations in the mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) gene in in vitro studies.
        In other words, the full cannabis plat material works to kill a near incurable child hood leukemia (blood cancer).

        To review, the whole plant and it’s material gives even more benefits than the oils and extracts alone.

        Continuing onward, flavinoids found only in whole plant material which has not had an extraction executed upon it Enduces anti-oxidant effects during exercises such as running, and is a natural (and well studied) series of compounds providing protection in spastic illnesses with extreme muscle movement such as epilepsy. By mitigating stress sensitive pathway responses, these flavinoids can decrease risk of heart diseases such as hypertension, decrease metabolic syndrome (a group of diseases which lead to heart diseases including chd(coronary heart disease. A build up of plaque in the heart that occurs after CAD(coronary artery disease) which usually requires open heart surgery), diabetes, stroke and more.

        It’s amazing what this plant does. There is much to be discovered. This year (2016) alone the total known photocannabinoid(plant produced cannabis receptor agonists/antagonists (aka things that work on the endocannabioid system similarly to natural system stimulations commonly called a “runner’s high”)) went from 85 known substances to 113 before the researchers lost count. (That’s more than 28 new individual cannabimemetic agents!(substances working on the cannabinoid system)if we are only now discovering all the cannabinoids, how many more are left?).

        Cannabis can treat seizures that are not responsive to other drugs. One type of seizure disorder commonly coinciding with PTSD(Post Traumatic Stress Disorders) is PNES (Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures. Aka seizures with an unknown origin with no known focal point). PNES was once thought to be incurable, now it is able to be mostly mitigated with cognitive/dialectical behavioral therapies. I have seen PNES episodes that can last a great period of time. The patient is not making it up or faking it. These seizures are driven by a chemical imbalance… anyway, these episodes are not able to be stopped using most conventional avenues. However, MMJ administration via passive blow by inhalation will stop them in a heart beat.

        I can continue on the benefits but there’s so many.
        CBG, CBD, CBC ETC. ARE being studied for their targeting of prostate cancer cells causing apoptosis(natural programmed cell death which keeps cancer from spreading). This targeting is due to the extremely high number of cb1(cannabinoid type 1) receptor types found in prostate specific cancers.

        Amazingly, the psychoactive cannabinoids in mmj don’t destroy the brain (they actually protect ,”flush”, perfectly clone or regenerate the damaged cells). It is only the cannabinoids which don’t cross the BBB(blood brain barrier) nor interact negatively with body systems /components which end up attacking cancer cells containing highly developed, over expressed and focalized cb1 sites. Amazing huh?

        Not to mention… these cannabinoids do something amazing which only the cannabinoid system can do. These cannabinoids are self regulating and the cannabinoid system not only alots room for, but requires, cellular mediation (they can talk to each other) for any real effect. This means that, unlike opiates/Benzos/anti epileptics/etc, nerves aren’t depressed. They simply tell the previous cell to truly and fully down regulate (slow down it’s firing rate AND decrease it’s neurotransmitter expression/production/secretion. All at the same time). In turn, the cell will down regulate itself and only reregulate if the next cell directs the current cell to change it’s neuro transmitter properties (such as firing rate, expression, secretion, signal strength and more).
        Simply put, cannabis and cannabinoids dispel the age old medical says “a neuron fires all or nothing”. The cannabinoid system finally is being medically accepted and proven as a neurological mediation method which allows firing of the synapses without requiring the full electrical nor chemical potential charge to be released throughout the neuron
        it takes all parts of the plant (including many more unmentioned contents) working in tandem to fully give fair cannabis treatment to all.

    • Deed

      Obviously, you have never had a medical condition that conventional medicine was not helping. Multiple Sclerosis, cancer, Lou Gerhig’s disease, neuropathic’s pain and burning, the list goes on. Do your homework on a topic if you are uninformed, which I would say from your statement is true. Dr. Sanjay Gupta changed his mind regarding this topic, you could start there seeing this respected doctor’s opinion.

  • Conroy

    Well, vaporizing isn’t bad. Always preferred it to smoking actually. But if you can’t have the bud itself then this isn’t a true form of legalization. And the condition list is far to small, no dispensary will be able to make a living if only serving these patients. Wouldn’t be surprised if there are no dispensary’s and instead they just have an available stock at doctors and pharmacy’s. Or the state will do to it what it did to liquor and control the supply with their own shops. Not cool

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.