Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania
In 2016, the Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, signed Senate Bill 3 into law giving physicians the approval to prescribe medical marijuana to patients who meet any of the twenty-three (23) qualifying conditions. On February 15, 2018, medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania opened their doors to sell prescribed marijuana to qualified patients. In its first year, Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program reached $132 million in sales from approximately 600,000 transactions in dispensaries.
In December 2018, Governor Wolf had a Twitter chat asking Pennsylvanians for their thoughts on cannabis legalization. Within a month, he put a team together to travel the state, asking the public for their input. By September 2019, the Governor divulged the results of the statewide tour. It turned out that 68% of the residents questioned were in favor of legalizing marijuana. Almost every attendee was in favor of decriminalization. The findings of the tour resulted in the Governor asking the state legislature for actions he wished the state to take:
- Debate and consideration of legislation to legalize cannabis for recreational use
- The passage of legislation to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis
- Passage of legislation to expunge prior cannabis convictions
On June 30, 2021, Governor Wolf signed House Bill 1024 into law, which expanded access to Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program by listing more qualifying conditions such as those in cancer remission therapy or suffering from damage to nervous tissue to the brain. Also, it increased possession limits, removed the restriction on the amount of patients a caregiver can help, and permitted curbside pickup and telemedicine certifications as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.
Recreational Marijuana Use in Pennsylvania
In October 2021, Democrat Senator Sharif Street and Republican Senator Dan Laughlin introduced a bipartisan bill, SB 473, to legalize the adult-use of marijuana for adults 21 and older in Pennsylvania. The Senators propose to develop an adult-use recreational marijuana program by establishing the regulations, licensing, and taxation for such businesses once passed.
Applications for Medical Marijuana Business Licenses
The Medical Marijuana Advisory Board (“Board”) under Pennsylvania’s Department of Health oversees the medical marijuana business licensing application process. In 2018, twelve (12) Growers/Processors were granted licenses. In Phase I, the Board further approved twenty-seven (27) dispensary licenses.
There are two (2) broad types of medical marijuana business licenses you can acquire:
- Application Fee: $5,000.00
- License Fee: $30,000.00 per new location
- Application Fee: $10,000.00
- License Fee: $200,000.00
Currently, the most recent application period (Phase II) for Dispensary or Grow/Processor licenses is closed. However, another application process will open up in the near future. You can provide your information here to receive notification updates related to Pennsylvania cannabis license matters. Schedule a time to discuss your options with us here.