Governor Tom Wolf announced today that more than 6,000 patients and more than 300 caregivers have registered for Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program since the Medical Marijuana Patient and Caregiver Registry launched November 1.
“These remarkable numbers are a clear confirmation of the need for medical marijuana to ease the pain and suffering of thousands of Pennsylvanians,” Governor Wolf said. “The Department of Health is working diligently and remains on track for the successful delivery of medical marijuana in 2018.”
“Medical marijuana is an important tool in our medical toolbox to treat patients with serious medical conditions,” Acting Secretary of Health and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said. “Right now, patients and caregivers across Pennsylvania can go to our website at medicalmarijuana.pa.gov and register to participate in the medical marijuana program. Their next step is to visit an approved doctor to become certified with the program.”
An additional 411 physicians have also started the process of becoming an approved practitioner. To date, the department has approved more than 100 physicians to participate.
“Physicians play a critical role in providing patients with access to this program,” Dr. Levine said. “We encourage physicians considering this as a treatment option for their patients to register and take the required continuing education courses. For physicians who want to learn more, our continuing education providers have resources available so that you can see if medical marijuana is a treatment option for their patients.”
Prior to registering, patients and caregiver should take these steps:
- Talk to your physician to see if medical marijuana is right for you and ask them if they are registered with the program;
- Make sure the address on your state-issued identification or driver’s license match where you currently reside; and
- If you need assistance in getting your medical marijuana, designate a caregiver to help.
“When patients or caregivers are registering, they need to be sure to follow the instructions on the registry,” Dr. Levine said. “It is especially important to enter in your identification information exactly as it appears on your driver’s license or state-issued ID.”
The Medical Marijuana Program was signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf on April 17, 2016. Since that time, the department has:
- Completed the Safe Harbor temporary guidelines and Safe Harbor Letter application process, as well as approved 329 applications;
- Completed temporary regulations for growers/processors, dispensaries, laboratories, physicians, and most recently, patients and caregivers, all which have appeared in the Pennsylvania Bulletin;
- Issued permits to grower/processors and dispensaries;
- Developed the Medical Marijuana Physician Workgroup;
- Held the first meeting of the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board;
- Approved four training providers for physician continuing education;
- Approved two laboratories to test medication before it is delivered to patients; and
- Approved three grower/processors to begin production of medical marijuana.
The Medical Marijuana Program became effective on May 17, 2016, and is expected to be fully implemented by 2018. The program will offer medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under a physician’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by the Medical Marijuana Law.