HARRISBURG – The Wolf Administration has announced that the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board has unanimously approved a process in which serious medical conditions can be added, changed or reduced (such as streamlining condition definitions) from the list of qualifying conditions recognized by the Medical Marijuana Act.
“As medical literature surrounding the uses of medical marijuana expands, we want to ensure our list of qualifying conditions meets the needs of Pennsylvanians,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said.
“This process will allow those with serious medical conditions to apply to have their condition be part of the list of qualifying conditions, with the support of medical professionals and documentation that supports their application.
“This process further enhances our efforts to provide a medically and clinically-based program that assists Pennsylvanians in need.”
Additional information requested on the application includes references supporting the opinion, documentation that supports the efficacy of medical marijuana as a form of treatment for the condition and documentation that supports the opinion that the benefits of medical marijuana use outweigh any potential health risks.
Once submitted, the application will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board and presented to the entire board at the next Medical Marijuana Advisory Board meeting.
The board will either approve or reject the application. Approved applications will go to the Secretary of Health for consideration.
If rejected, the requestor will have the ability to request reconsideration by the chairperson of the board. If a request is denied a second time, either by the chairperson or the board, the individual request will be denied for one year, or until new scientific evidence is available.
More than 95,000 patients in Pennsylvania have registered to participate in the medical marijuana program, and more than 64,000 have identification cards and are able to purchase medical marijuana at a dispensary. Approximately 1,360 physicians have registered for the program, 945 of whom have been approved as practitioners.
The medical marijuana program was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf on April 17, 2016. Since that time, the department has:
- Completed temporary regulations to enact the program;
- Convened the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board;
- Approved six training providers for physician continuing education;
- Approved four laboratories to test medication before it is delivered to patients;
- Registered more than 95,000 patients and issued more than 64,000 identification cards;
- Validated over 349,000 dispensing events;
- Issued 25 grower/processor permits, 12 of which are operational;
- Issued 27 dispensary permits and approved 42 locations to begin operations; and
- Certified eight medical schools as Academic Clinical Research Centers.
The medical marijuana program offers medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under a practitioner’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by the Medical Marijuana Law.