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How to stay legal with medical marijuana use

As with most states, Pennsylvania has recently legalized medical marijuana. Also in line with other states, there are serious restrictions in place on who is eligible and where the product can be purchased. In order to not break the law, you are responsible for understanding and following the restrictions and regulations put in place.

According to the Governor's Office, the state's medical marijuana laws went into effect on April 17, 2016, but the full implementation of the program may not be complete until 2018. This means you may run into issues getting the documentation you need and finding a place to buy medical marijuana until everything is fully implemented.


Only those people who have been diagnosed with a condition that state has designated as a serious medical condition qualify to get the product. Some examples of serious conditions include:

  • HIV
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Cancer
  • Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Epilepsy

If you have a qualifying medical condition, then you must also be under the care of a doctor who is registered with the Department of Health. He or she must give you a signed authorization.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health is in charge of the dispensing of medical marijuana. This agency will certify dispensaries, which are the only legal place you can buy the product. It is important to understand that purchases can only be made from within the state from an authorized dispensary. One exception is if you are under 18 years old. Minors can have a caregiver designated to buy their product. A caregiver can purchase the product outside of the state for the minor. Anyone buying medical marijuana must have a card issued by the agency. Caregivers must get a card as well.

Medical marijuana is quickly becoming legal in all states. As Pennsylvania joins this trend, it is important for you to understand the law and follow it so you do not end up in trouble with law enforcement.

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Law Offices of Lance T. Marshall
250 East Beaver Avenue
Suite 774
State College, PA 16801

Phone: 814-308-0422
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