Medical Marijuana Legalized in Pennsylvania After 149 to 43 Vote

Unless some radical, unforeseen, and controversial changes are made in a hurry, Pennsylvania should be the next state – the 24th in the Union – to legalize the use of medical marijuana. Earlier in the month (March, 16th 2016), the state’s Senate approved Senate Bill 3 to an astounding 149 to 43 vote count. The bipartisan bill has been tinkered with numerous times since its original inception but finally came to a point that lawmakers could agree upon. If its present form is signed into law by Governor Wolf, who has been advocate for legalizing medical marijuana for some time, Senate Bill 3 will be strictly for medical use in circumstances approved by the state.

The bill will not permit:

  • Smoking marijuana recreationally.
  • Selling edible marijuana at regulated dispensaries.
  • Cultivation of marijuana or cannabis in the home.
  • Unregulated prices of medical marijuana sales.

[A full version of the bill and its amendments can be viewed here.]

A Big Step In the Right Direction

The approval of Senate Bill 3 marks an important date in the campaign to legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, and indeed around the United States. It is not, however, the ultimate goal. There still must be advances in how marijuana, cannabis, and hemp are recognized, studied, understood, and used. The social stigma that these are dangerous substances requiring a Schedule I rating is still widespread and legally reinforced.

At Sacks Weston LLC, our Philadelphia litigation lawyers have long sided with and supported the American Trade Association of Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH). Led by Attorney Sacks in this ongoing issue, our law firm believes that with persistence and legal knowledge, the truth of safe marijuana, cannabis, and hemp use will soon come to fruition through the law. If you have any questions about Senate Bill 3 or ATACH’s ongoing work, you can contact our law firm today.

The Department of Health (DOH) will be in charge of overseeing, controlling, and modifying the medical marijuana programs throughout Pennsylvania. They are the only group that can set prices of medical marijuana, give out authorized licenses to growers and dispensaries – limited to 25 and 50, respectively – and impose the 5% tax of medical marijuana; the tax will only be collected from cultivators and is illegal to pass along to consumers. While the DOH will also monitor THC levels in medical marijuana, there is currently no cap on how much of the chemical can be in a dosage.

Ailments that could qualify a patient for medical marijuana use include:

Autism Cancer Crohn’s disease Epilepsy Glaucoma HIV and AIDS Multiple sclerosis Parkinson’s disease