Medical marijuana patients can now buy 90-day supply; dispensaries deemed 'life essential' | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Medical marijuana patients can now buy 90-day supply; dispensaries deemed 'life essential'

click to enlarge CP PHOTO: LISA CUNNINGHAM
CP photo: Lisa Cunningham
Medical marijuana cardholders in Pennsylvania were only allowed to purchase a 30-day supply from a dispensary since the treatment first became legalized in 2016. Now, because of the coronavirus pandemic, Pennsylvania is now temporarily extending the amount to a 90-day supply.

"In the midst of COVID-19, we need to ensure medical marijuana patients have access to medication,” said Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine in a press release. "Medical marijuana grower/processors and dispensaries are considered life-sustaining businesses under the Governor’s order for nonlife-sustaining businesses to close. We want to be sure cardholders in the medical marijuana program can receive medication for one of 23 serious medical conditions during this difficult time.”

According to a press release, other provisions now allowed under the coronavirus rules include the following:
• Dispensaries are allowed to deliver medical marijuana to a patient's vehicle on the dispensary's property
• Patients are allowed to have more than one caregiver so more are able to pick up a patient's medication
• Background checks for applications from caregivers are eliminated and limited to renewal applications only
• Remote consultations between practitioners and medical marijuana cardholders are now allowed

The qualifying conditions to received a medical marijuana card include chronic pain, PTSD, opioid use disorder, inflammatory bowel disease, and epilepsy, among others. Anxiety, likely to be heightened for many patients during the pandemic, first became legalized as a qualifying condition in 2019.

The temporary changes will remain in place "for as long as the Proclamation of Disaster Emergency is in effect."

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