Medical marijuana passed, but patients are still waiting! In Pennsylvania, the medical marijuana program is still in the early stages of implementation. Although the bill passed a while ago in April of 2016, the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy just asked health care providers to weigh in on the implementation of the medical marijuana program.
This input will help the Pennsylvania Department of Health "to implement this program as quickly and effectively as possible," according to Secretary Murphy. In the meantime, one question we're asked pretty often is: what medical conditions qualify a patient for access to medical marijuana once this program gets rolled out?
According to the statute that passed, patients with the following serious medical conditions will be eligible to get medicinal marijuana with a physician's certification at designated Pennsylvania dispensaries:
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
"Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity"
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
"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"
Sickle Cell Anemia
Hopefully this recently requested input from health care providers will help get patients access to their medicinal cannabis sooner rather than later. As for hopeful cultivators, processors, and dispensaries... they'll have to wait until the department begins the application review stage next month.