Pittsburgh Opens Pennsylvania’s First Drive-Through Dispensary: What You Need To Know About MMJ & Driving

Accessing medical marijuana (MMJ) for qualifying individuals in the state of Pennsylvania has never been easier. In fact, PA currently has the fifth highest number of MMJ-qualified individuals in the US, making the state a key player in the ever-evolving MMJ field. As of July 30, 2021, Pittsburgh has also opened its first drive-through dispensary, in a move to make MMJ even more easily available for those who need it.

Pennsylvania’s First Drive-Through Dispensary: What You Need To Know

The Healing Research Center, the first dispensary of its kind in Pittsburgh, officially opened its doors on July 30. Chicago-based Verano Holdings Corp. is behind the opening of the new dispensary, which will also operate as a research center, in partnership with Drexel University. As well as providing Pennsylvania MMJ card holders with a wide range of products for drive-through purchase, Drexel University’s Medical Cannabis Research Center will use the facility to further the institution’s studies of the benefits and effects of MMJ. The dispensary currently operates seven days a week, from 10am to 8pm during the week, with reduced opening hours over the weekend.

view of pittsburgh pennsylvania city
Image by BruceEmmerling on Pixabay: Pennsylvania’s first drive-through dispensary has opened!

MMJ In Pennsylvania

As of 2018, those qualifying for a PA MMJ card have been able to purchase a variety of MMJ products from the state’s many licensed dispensaries, including pills, oils, lotions, and dried MMJ for vaping. The only way to legally purchase MMJ in Pennsylvania is by using a medical marijuana card. The application for a PA MMJ card requires a physician’s evaluation (which can be carried out online via MMJRecs Online Clinic). Fortunately, MMJ cards are available to those suffering from a wide range of illnesses, including chronic pain. Recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in the state of Pennsylvania.

MMJ And Driving: The Facts

It is illegal to drive while under the influence of cannabis in Pennsylvania, and this includes MMJ. Law enforcement can determine whether or not you are under the influence of MMJ by performing a sobriety test to check for levels of THC (one of the components of MMJ) in the body.

It is important to be aware that, much like alcohol, it is illegal to consume MMJ while on the road, for passengers and driver alike. For this reason, those in the car with you should also not consume MMJ while you are driving, even if they hold a PA MMJ card and it was purchased legally. You can read more information about driving and MMJ here.

Can I Transport The MMJ I Have Purchased In The Car With Me?

It is legal to transport MMJ in your car provided you have your PA MMJ card as well as your ID with you, and you are within the legal 30-day supply limit. You should treat MMJ the same way as alcohol in terms of transportation; just as it is illegal to transport open alcohol containers in your vehicle, MMJ should be sealed and kept out of reach of passengers and the driver (in the trunk, for example).

It is also important to note that transporting MMJ between different states in your car is a federal offense, as the rules surrounding MMJ use vary from state to state. Even transporting MMJ between two states in which the use and purchase of MMJ is legal can carry the risk of prosecution.

medical marijuana plant seedling
Image by 7raysmarketing from Pixabay: We’ve got all you need to know about MMJ & driving!

Can You Get A DUI With A Medical Card?

Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal, so it is important to ensure there is no MMJ in your system when behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this is a tricky subject when it comes to MMJ, which is legal to consume and purchase in Pennsylvania.

First-time marijuana DUI offenders can receive fines of up to $5000, license suspension, and imprisonment, with charges becoming much more severe for multiple offenders. For this reason, PA MMJ card holders should always consume MMJ in the privacy of their own home, as it is illegal to do so while driving in public areas. Remember to allow sufficient time for the MMJ to exit your system before driving (this can take up to five days for some people).

Do You Have A Medical Condition That Would Benefit From Medical Marijuana?

Pittsburgh’s new drive-through dispensary offers an accessible and safe way for MMJ card holders to buy the MMJ products they require. While MMJ cannot be consumed on the road by either passenger or driver, Pennsylvania’s newest dispensary offers a convenient way to access MMJ in the state.

Applying for your PA MMJ card is simple and easy with MMJRecs. Click here for more information and to apply today!

Featured image by Alexandre Boucher on Unsplash