The Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed sweeping cannabis legislation on March 15, 2016. The amendment (“A5835”) by Rep. Marsico that replaced Senate Bill 3 passed 152-38 with language largely expected. A5835 was then amended in many respects and now heads back to the Senate. Some highlights of A5835 and its amendments include:
- Medical marijuana ID cards issued annually
- Qualifying conditions: cancer; HIV/AIDS; ALS; Parkinson’s; MS; spinal or neurological indication of spasticity; inflammatory bowel; neuropathies; Huntington’s disease; Crohn’s disease; PTSD; intractable seizures; glaucoma; “severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective”
- Amended to include autism (A5958) and sickle cell anemia (A6000)
- Oil, tincture, pill, topicals (gels, creams, ointments), and “a form medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization”
- No edible sales, but patients can make their own
- 10% THC cap, which was stricken by A5934 by a 97-91 vote
- No home growing
- The Department of Health (DOH) will administer the medical marijuana program under at least three state-wide regions and determine all locations for growers/processors and dispensaries (may adjust boundaries every two years).
- DOH will not initially license more than 25 grower/processors and 50 dispensaries (each with up to three locations) (see amendment seemingly permitting up to an additional 8 grower/processors and 48 dispensaries)
- Up to 5 grower/processors may also operate dispensaries and capped at 20% if number of licensed increased.
- DOH to regulate the price of medical marijuana at all phases of sale
- Dispensary to have a pharmacist or physician on-site with physician assistants or nurse practitioners on-site at any additional company-owned dispensaries
- DOH online information and application process with criminal history of all financial backers
- DOH heavily involved in inspections
- For growers/processors, a $10,000 application fee, a $200,000 registration fee due at time of application, and a showing of $2,000,000 in capital, $500,000 of which must be on deposit in a financial institution. The $200,000 is returnable if no license is granted, and there is a $10,000 annual renewal fee.
- For dispensaries, a $5,000 application fee, a $30,000 registration fee (returnable if license is not granted), and a showing of $150,000 on deposit in a financial institution. No additional fees are required for additional dispensary locations.
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