For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 38

marijuana as permitted by the Act. According to the
Act, "none" of these individuals:
shall be subject to arrest, prosecution or
penalty in any manner, or denied any
right or privilege, including civil penalty
or disciplinary action by a Commonwealth
licensing board or commission, solely
for lawful use of medical marijuana or
manufacture or sale or dispensing of medical
marijuana, or for any other action taken in
accordance with this act. 7
As noted earlier, this broadly stated protection is not
absolute and patients, and their attorneys, should stay
apprised of ongoing evolution of the regulations.

The Patient and Caregiver
Legal protections do not take effect until the
patient is issued a medical marijuana registration
card by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. In
order to register, the patient must be a Pennsylvania
resident suffering from one or more "serious medical
conditions."8 Patients registered for medical cannabis
in another state are not allowed access to medical
cannabis in Pennsylvania.
Only patients suffering from one of the following
23 enumerated medical conditions can participate in
Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program:
* Amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis
* Anxiety disorders
* Autism
* Cancer, including remission
therapy
* Crohn's disease
* Damage to the nervous
tissue of the central nervous
system (brain-spinal cord)
with objective neurological
indication of intractable
spasticity, and other
associated neuropathies
* Dyskinetic and spastic
movement disorders
* Epilepsy
* Glaucoma
* HIV / AIDS
* Huntington's disease
* Inflammatory bowel
disease
* Intractable seizures

* Multiple sclerosis
* Neurodegenerative diseases
* Neuropathies
* Opioid use disorder
for which conventional
therapeutic interventions
are contraindicated or
ineffective, or for which
adjunctive therapy is
indicated in combination
with primary therapeutic
interventions
* Parkinson's disease
* Post-traumatic stress
disorder
* Severe chronic or
intractable pain of
neuropathic origin
or severe chronic or
intractable pain
* Sickle cell anemia
* Terminal illness
* Tourette syndrome9

Patients under the age of 18 are required to have
a caregiver.10 As with patients, caregivers must
register and receive an identification card from the
Department of Health, which will allow the caregiver
to pick up medical marijuana at a dispensary on a
38

For The Defense l Vol. 5, Issue 1

patient's behalf and/or administer medical marijuana
to a patient.11 Unlike patients, prospective caregivers
must complete a criminal background check.12 If
the caregiver has been convicted of a crime relating
to the sale or possession of drugs, narcotics or
controlled substances that occurred within the 5
years immediately preceding the submission of the
application, the Department will deny the caregiver's
registration. In addition to the criminal background
check, the Department will review the Prescription
Drug Monitoring Program database and may prohibit
an individual from acting as a caregiver if the caregiver
has a history of drug abuse or of diverting controlled
substances or illegal drugs.13

The Dispensary
Dispensaries are permitted to sell six approved
forms of medical marijuana; pill, oil, topical (gels,
creams, ointments), forms for vaporization (including
dry leaf), tincture (alcohol-based), and liquid forms.14
Dispensaries cannot sell edibles, but medical cannabis
products could be mixed into food or drinks by a
patient or caregiver to facilitate ingestion.15 Notably,
while vaporization of dry leaf medical marijuana is
allowed, smoking is prohibited.16 Before reaching
the dispensary, all medical marijuana product for
sale is tested at a state-certified lab to check for
contaminants and confirm THC/CBD content.17
While the law requires a dispensary to have a
physician or a pharmacist onsite while it is open,
purchasing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is
different than purchasing medication from a retail
pharmacy.18 The Pennsylvania Department of Health
forbids access to dispensaries to anyone who is not
a patient or an employee. In addition to access
restrictions, dispensaries are subject to a number of
extensive security regulations aimed at preventing
diversion of medical marijuana product, including
security guards, exterior and interior cameras, and 24hour facility surveillance.19
Notably, all medical marijuana inventory is tracked
from "seed-to-sale"-i.e., from the grower/processor
to the laboratory to the dispensary and, ultimately,
to the patient.20 For dispensaries, this means all
sales and patient data, including the date and time
of purchase, must be recorded in the Departmentapproved electronic tracking system.21 Additionally,
dispensaries are required to provide the patient or
caregiver with a receipt detailing the transaction,
including the form and amount of product dispensed.
In addition to detecting diversion of product, these
records may provide valuable evidence to prove a
patient legally purchased medical marijuana from
an approved dispensary. Some states place a specific
limit on the amount of medical marijuana a patient
may possess. In New Jersey, patients are limited



For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1

Contents
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For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 2
For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - Contents
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For the Defense - Vol. 5, Issue 1 - 44
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol5_issue4_2020
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pacdl/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol2_issue3_2017
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue4_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue3_2016
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/PACDL/FORTHEDEFENSE_vol1_issue2_2016
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