Pennsylvania House Passes Smart and Expansive Amendments to Senate Bill 3

Articles & Publications

Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Society 
March 16, 2016

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.

Read the entire article here.