Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf signed Senate Bill 3, which is designed to legalize medical marijuana in the state.
The medical marijuana program will benefit patients and families who are in desperate need of treatment. The bill will improve the quality of life for patients and their families throughout Pennsylvania, according to Governor Wolf.
“I am proud to sign this bill that will provide long overdue medical relief to patients and families who could benefit from this treatment. I applaud members of both parties in the House and Senate who have come together to help patients who have run out of medical options and want to thank the thousands of advocates who have fought tirelessly for this cause,” the governor said.
Studies show that marijuana can be used for treatment of a range of illnesses or symptoms. The “medical marijuana” term refers to using the whole unprocessed marijuana plant or its basic extracts to treat a disease or symptom. Medical marijuana can ease pain and improve life’s quality of patients suffering from serious medical conditions.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health will implement the state’s Medical Marijuana Program, which is expected to take between 18 and 24 months. It will provide medical marijuana to patients who are under a physician’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition.
Medical marijuana will be available at designated state dispensaries to patients with serious medical conditions, but they will require a physician’s certification.
The Health Department will work on temporary regulations in order to meet the 6-month publishing requirement under the statute. The agency will be meeting with stakeholder groups, medical professionals and consumer groups to develop the application process for patients and caregivers to access medical marijuana.
“As the department moves forward with implementation, we want to make sure that we consider a number of factors in placing these dispensaries to ensure that medical marijuana is readily available for patients with serious medical conditions,” Secretary of Health Murphy said in a statement.
“The department will be conducting a full population study that will include the location and number of patients suffering from serious medical conditions and their ability to access public transportation to get to these facilities,” Murphy added.