Can I Go To A Dispensary Without A Card In Pennsylvania?

In 2016, a new state law was introduced that allowed for compassionate medical cannabis to be used lawfully in Pennsylvania. The medical marijuana that can be sold under the new law is strictly regulated, and thus difficult to get if you’re not approved for a medical card. Patients looking to access MMJ must go through the processes required by law to get a card for medical marijuana use to help treat a qualifying condition.

Proper access to MMJ is of vital importance because of how it can help people cope with their conditions and ease their symptoms. The first step in getting access to medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is by getting approved for a medical card. After approval, many people may think that they can head to the nearest dispensary and pick up their medication.

But is that really the case? If I’ve been approved and am waiting on my card in the mail, can I go to a dispensary without a card in Pennsylvania? Read on to find out.

Can anyone go into a dispensary in PA?

In the state of Pennsylvania, the only people who are allowed to enter dispensaries are those with a valid medical marijuana card. This means that if you go to a dispensary with a friend who doesn’t have a card, they will be denied access, and if you don’t have your card with you, you too will be denied access.

city of pittsburgh in pennsylvania
Image by Guido Coppa on Unsplash: Can I go to a dispensary before my card arrives in PA?

How long does it take to get a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania?

To gain access to a medical marijuana card, patients must first go through a registration process. It is designed to give people access to medication that can help ease the symptoms of their illness while maintaining the laws against the use of marijuana for any other purpose. Registration begins with an online application on the Patient and Caregiver Registry, followed by a consultation with an approved and license provider in the state, who then provides you with a diagnosis and recommendation.

Once you receive your approval, you will have to pay for the application and your medical marijuana ID card. Your application must include a current digital photograph for your card, a photo ID, and a credit card for payment. From start to finish, the process shouldn’t take that long, but it depends on how quickly you get in for an appointment and how quickly you fill out your application following a recommendation. Once your application is approved, you will receive your medical marijuana card in the mail within two weeks, with most people receiving theirs within five business days.

What do I need to know before going to a dispensary in Pennsylvania?

There are a few things you should know prior to going to a dispensary for medical marijuana. You must have your original medical card with you at all times if you plan on visiting a dispensary. If you’re a caregiver for someone with medical marijuana approval, the same applies. The first visit to a dispensary also requires you to have a state-issued ID card or driver’s license, and you should be prepared to go into the dispensary alone, as only those with proper identification will be admitted. The only exception is children under the age of 18 who are accompanying an adult with a medical card.

counter at mmj dispensary
Image by Jan Zwarthoed on Unsplash: Medical marijuana dispensaries have a “one-at-a-time” policy in Pennsylvania.

Dispensaries are also usually cash-only establishments. Although some may offer other forms of payments, the majority do not, so it’s important that you have the proper amount of cash on you for your purchase. Often, dispensaries can be busy because they only allow one person in at a time. This helps while you’re the patient receiving help in the dispensary, but be prepared to wait your turn. You could also get a consult with the pharmacy while there that will help you establish the best product to help with your specific needs.

Getting a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania is a simple and quick process if you have a qualifying condition. The sooner you go through the application process, the faster you will receive your card – and since you can’t go into a dispensary without one, it’s better to start the process ASAP if you need MMJ to help you cope with your condition.

Featured image by Heidi Kaden on Unsplash