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How to Get a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card in 2020

Ruth Lemon
Ruth Lemon - Operations Manager

Apr 13 2020 - 10 min read

Are you interested in getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Pennsylvania? You’ve come to the right place. We hope this article acts as a valuable guide to help you understand the process of applying for your medical marijuana recommendation letter. We keep this information up to date to make sure it is accurate and makes your journey as simple as possible. Keep reading to find out more.

Table of contents
  1. Getting a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card Online with Leafwell
  2. Who Can Apply for a PA Medical Cannabis Card?
  3. How do I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Pennsylvania?
  4. What Does an MMJ Card Permit in Pennsylvania?
  5. What Does my Online Medical Marijuana Evaluation with Leafwell Include?
  6. How Much Does it Cost for a Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Card?
  7. What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Cards in Pennsylvania?
  8. What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card?
  9. Do I Need to Present my Medical Records to Leafwell?
  10. How Does a Caregiver Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card, and Can I Get a MMJ Card for My Child in PA?
  11. Can a Qualifying Patient Grow Cannabis in Pennsylvania?
  12. Are my Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card?
  13. Does Pennsylvania Have Medical Marijuana Reciprocity?
  14. Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and York, Pennsylvania
  15. History of Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania
  16. Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Laws
  17. Useful Links

PA, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania city

Getting a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card Online with Leafwell

Pennsylvania has lifted many of the restrictions put on telemedicine since the outbreak of COVID-19. This means that it is now possible to speak to a Pennsylvania-licensed physician online for a medical cannabis consultation and certificate safely from the comfort of your own home. Usually, an in-person appointment is necessary, but this is no longer the case, at least for the moment.

With Leafwell, it is quick and simple and secure to get a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card online. We’ve put together this valuable guide which will answer all your questions and help individuals living in Pennsylvania State understand the importance of applying for their Pennsylvania MMJ Card via the easy, HIPAA Compliant process offered by Leafwell’s telemedicine platform. You can visit our Ultimate Guide to Getting a Medical Marijuana Card for more general information.

Who Can Apply for a PA Medical Cannabis Card?

To apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Pennsylvania, you must be a legal resident of Pennsylvania State.

You must be aged 18 or over in order to get a medical marijuana card for yourself in Pennsylvania. A caregiver can apply on behalf of someone else if necessary (see section on caregiving below). You will need ID produced by the state of Pennsylvania in order to qualify for medical marijuana in PA. You will also need a physical copy of your card and PA-issued ID to enter a dispensary.

What Does an MMJ Card Permit in Pennsylvania?

Having an MMJ Card in Pennsylvania permits the following:

  • 30 day supply, to be determined upon consultation
  • As initially enacted, only cannabis-infused pills, oils, topical ointments, tinctures or liquids were allowed. On April 16, 2018, the state Health Secretary approved an advisory board recommendation to permit dispensaries to also begin providing herbal cannabis. Under the rule change, patients are permitted to vaporize herbal cannabis, but are still prohibited under the law from smoking. This is not applicable to recreational use.
  • Dispensaries are allowed to sell up to a 30-day supply to a patient, with records kept for each amount obtained.
  • Patients may re-up on their 30-day supplies during the last 7 days of their previous 30-day allotment.
Image by DEZALB from Pixabay.

How do I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Pennsylvania?

With Leafwell, you can get your Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card in 4 simple steps:

1. Register on the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program website.

This registration process will provide you with a patient number. You’ll need that to make an appointment with Leafwell.

2. Register online with Leafwell and speak to a friendly physician at https://leafwell.co/medical-card/pennsylvania.

You can speak to a doctor and qualify for a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card online. The cost of the online consultation is $149. You are only billed if approved. As soon as you are approved our doctor will submit your certification directly to the state website.

3. Log onto the state website once you’ve been approved and pay.

The cost of the application is $50, payable to the state. Those participating in Medicaid, PACE/PACENET, CHIP, SNAP or WIC may be eligible for the reduced fee of $25.

4. You will receive your medical marijuana card in the mail within 2-5 days.

While this is the program’s time estimate, it can take up to 30 days for some patients to receive their cards, depending on the level of application demand.

Your card will be valid for 1 year. The Medical Marijuana Program will send you an email 60 days before your card is due to expire with instructions on how to renew the card. Leafwell can assist with renewals if you require a new certificate. Our renewal fee is $99.

You will need a physical copy of your Pennsylvania medical marijuana card and

SPEAK TO A DOCTOR ONLINE

What Does my Online Medical Marijuana Evaluation with Leafwell Include?

Your online medical marijuana evaluation with Leafwell is quick and easy. In order to get started, we’ll need you to provide us with some preliminary details as well as some medical records. These are all passed securely to one of our registered practitioners who can familiarise themselves with your application before your consultation.

The consultation itself is simple and secure, taking place on our bespoke telemedicine platform. You will meet with a Pennsylvania registered practitioner who has experience issuing certificates for medical marijuana to patients for a range of medical issues. The registered practitioner will speak with you about why you are applying and ask some questions with regards to your medical conditions and history.

At the end of the consultation, the registered practitioner will be able to make an informed decision about whether he or she recommends the use of medical cannabis based on the medical information they have obtained. If an application is successful, the registered practitioner will complete the certification and upload it directly to your account on the Pennsylvania state website. Once this has been done, all you need to do is log in and pay the $50 application fee.

You will then need to wait for a physical copy of your Pennsylvania medical marijuana card in order to enter a dispensary. You will also need ID produced by the state of Pennsylvania.

If an application is unsuccessful, you will receive an email detailing why our registered practitioner felt unable to provide you with the certificate. You will not be charged for the consultation.

How Much Does it Cost for a Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Card?

The initial consultation with one of the Pennsylvania Registered Practitioners via Leafwell’s HIPAA compliant online consultation service is a one off fee of $149. However, if you do not qualify for an MMJ Card and our practitioner elects not to sign your certificate, you will not be charged.

The application fee, payable to the state, is $50. Reduced fees of $25 for those participating in Medicaid, PACE/ PACENET, CHIP, SNAP or WIC.

Renewals cost $99.

Insurance does not currently cover the cost of applying for an MMJ Card in Pennsylvania.

What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Cards in Pennsylvania?

For your application to be successful, a registered practitioner must certify a permanent or temporary diagnosis of one or more of the conditions listed under Pennsylvania law.

GET A PA MMJ CARD

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card?

In order to apply for your MMJ Card in Pennsylvania, you will need to show your signed certificate which provides proof of your condition as well as your identification documents. You should gather together the following:

  • ID produced by the state of Pennsylvania
  • Proof of Pennsylvania residency
  • Medical records

Below are all of the acceptable forms these documents may take.

Acceptable ID

  • State-issued driver’s licence
  • State-issued ID card

Acceptable Proof of Residency

  • Recent bank statement (1-2 months old)
  • Recent utility bill (not cell phone bill)
  • Letter from a state department, e.g. from the Pennsylvania DMV

Medical Records

  • Progress notes
  • Health summary
  • List of diagnoses
  • Medication list (or pictures of prescription bottles)

Do I Need to Present my Medical Records to Leafwell?

Yes. In order to responsibly sign a certificate which permits individuals to apply for an MMJ card, our registered practitioners must have a comprehensive understanding of your medical history. This allows them to provide an accurate assessment to ensure that medical cannabis is a good option for each patient on a case by case basis.

How Does a Caregiver Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card, and Can I Get a MMJ Card for My Child in PA?

Some patients may be eligible for an MMJ Card but unable to apply for one themselves. For example, should the patient be a minor under the age of 18, or if the patient needs assistance accessing medical cannabis, a caregiver can be assigned to complete the process on their behalf.

Caregivers must be aged 21 or over, have PA-issued or state-issued ID card, be a PA resident and not have any criminal offenses relating to the sale or possession of drugs, narcotics or a controlled substance in the past 5 years. A patient may have up to two (2) caregivers.

Caregivers must register with the Department of Health and follow the instructions to complete a criminal history background check with the commonwealth’s authorized vendor.

Any patient may designate a caregiver if they so choose. All minors are required to have a caregiver. There are three categories of patients who do not get an ID card, and thus need not enter a dispensary. Instead, a caregiver registers on their behalf and visits the dispensary for them. These categories include:

  • Minors
  • Adult patients who are home-bound

Adult patients who benefit from assistance (i.e. nonverbal, do not make their own medical decisions, etc.)
Additionally, any adult patient who is registered and gets a medical marijuana ID card is also able to designate a caregiver by sharing their patient ID number with the caregiver before the caregiver registers.
Caregivers must be aged 21 or over in the state of Pennsylvania. The application fee is $50, payable to the state. However, those who are younger than the age of 21 and wish to be considered a Caregiver may make an application online. Here is the process:

  1. Go to the Patient and Caregiver Registry (link at the bottom of this blog)
  2. In the “Caregivers” section, click “Adult Patient Caregiver Registration” if the patient is an adult patient who has or will have a patient ID card to visit a dispensary.
  3. In the “Caregivers” section, click “Caregiver registering for an existing patient” if the patient is registered and is a minor, requires in-home support, or has a disability that requires assistance. (These patients will not get an ID card of their own or visit a dispensary.)
  4. Fill out all information and click “Submit” to register and create an online profile. Note: Each account in the Patient and Caregiver Registry requires a different email address. A patient and caregiver cannot share the same email address.
  5. Watch for an email with instructions for completing your background check.
  6. Allow four to six weeks for your application to go through the approval process.
  7. Once notified via email of your acceptance by the Department of Health, return to the Patient and Caregiver Registry to pay the fee to get your medical marijuana caregiver card.

Only the listed Caregiver will be able to enter a dispensary – minors are prohibited from entering a medical marijuana dispensary.

Can a Qualifying Patient Grow Cannabis in Pennsylvania?

No, patients cannot cultivate cannabis plants in Pennsylvania.

Are my Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card?

Yes. Leafwell is committed to protecting the privacy of our patients. Our online service is HIPAA compliant and our systems are designed to keep all of your confidential details safe.

Does Pennsylvania Have Medical Marijuana Reciprocity?

Pennsylvania does not have reciprocity with other states at this time, meaning that those with a card from another state cannot use their card in PA yet. However, Pennsylvania is implementing a reciprocity program.

Having a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card may get you recognized as a patient in the following states or allow you to apply for their medical marijuana program (though this does not necessarily mean you can use a dispensary if not registered – just be recognized as a patient):

Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Doylestown, New Castle, Reading and State College

While recreational cannabis is still illegal in Pennsylvania, there are some cities which have decriminalized small amounts, demonstrating a slow move towards legalising recreational cannabis in the future. These cities include:

  • Philadelphia – decriminalize up to 30 grams, punishable by $25 fine
  • Pittsburgh – decriminalize up to 30 grams, punishable by $25 fine
  • Harrisburg – decriminalize small amounts, punishable by $75 fine
  • State College – decriminalize up to 30 grams, punishable by $250 fine
  • York – decriminalize up to 30 grams, punishable by $100 fine
  • Erie – decriminalize up to 30 grams, punishable by $25 fine
  • Allentown – decriminalize up to 30 grams, punishable by $25 fine for a first offense
  • Bethlehem – decriminalize up to 30 grams, punishable by $25 fine for a first offense
  • Lancaster – decriminalize small amounts, punishable by $25 fine for a first offense
  • Steelton – decriminalize up to 30 grams, punishable by $25-$100 fine

Wherever you are in Pennsylvania, you can find a Leafwell clinic nearby:

Leafwell MD Doylestown, Pennsylvania

51 W State St, Doylestown, PA 18901
267-209-6457

Leafwell MD New Castle, Pennsylvania

3131 Wilmington Dr, New Castle, PA 16105
267-209-6457

Leafwell MD Reading, Pennsylvania

3815 Perkiomen Ave, Reading, PA 19606
267-209-6457

Leafwell MD State College, Pennsylvania

125 Rolling Ridge Dr, State College, PA 16801
267-209-6457

 

START A MEDICAL CANNABIS CONSULTATION

Remember: you don’t have to visit a clinic in-person in order to qualify for a certificate & MMJ card in Pennsylvania – you can do it all online, with Leafwell!

By Marc A. From https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=235676&picture=pennsylvania-waterfall CC0 Public Domain

History of Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania

Here is a brief history of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania:

2016 – Senate Bill 3 (SB 3) is approved and signed into law by Governor Tom Wolf.  State-level penalties for the possession, use and cultivation of cannabis by those with a valid medical marijuana recommendation and card are removed. Patients must register with the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH). Physicians must complete the Practitioner Registry in order to participate in the medical marijuana program.

2018 – 8 Universities were approved by Governor Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health as Certified Academic Clinical Research Centres. This is a big step forward for cannabis which, despite demonstrating a number of valuable medical properties, is under-research and not understood to its fullest potential yet.

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Laws

In Pennsylvania state, up to 25 growers/producers and 50 dispensaries are allowed to be operational at any one time.

Recreational marijuana is still illegal in Pennsylvania.

For those without a medical marijuana card, possession of 30 g or less (8 g or less of hash) is a misdemeanor that carries a potential incarceration period of  30 days and a max fine of up to $500. Possession of more than 30 g is a misdemeanor, with up to 1 year imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.

First possession conviction is eligible for conditional release. Subsequent convictions can lead to a double penalty.

Gifting 30 g or marijuana for no remuneration is treated as possession of 30 g or less.

Cultivation of any number of plants is a felony, with between 1 and 5 years imprisonment and a $15,000 fine.

Penalties and fines for possession, sale or distribution of hash are the same as for marijuana.

Sale or possession of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor, with up to 1 year imprisonment and a $2,500 fine.

Driving privileges may be suspended for the sale, distribution or possession of any controlled substance.

Courts are advised to push for maximum fines so we strongly recommend applying for your Pennsylvania MMJ Card if you are eligible.

Note, it is a requirement for a Pennsylvania medical marijuana patient to register with the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program and Department of Health. Your cannabis usage will be tracked.

To find out more about getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Pennsylvania, get in touch with the expert Leafwell team today or use any of these verified resources below:

Booking a consultation with a doctor for a physician's recommendation or medical cannabis certificate and medical marijuana card with Leafwell.
See a doctor today and get a physician’s recommendation for a medical marijuana card.
Written by
Ruth Lemon
Ruth Lemon - Operations Manager

Ruth Lemon has worked in Cambodia and Australia, gaining experience in the non-profit sector, education and international development, and digital marketing. New to the cannabis sector, Ruth is helping Leafwell to scale without compromising the customer experience and seeks to create a frictionless customer journey. She now lives in the UK with her rescued Cambodian cat and believes Leafwell is improving access to and understanding of a valuable medical alternative.

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