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

5 Best Dispensaries In Pennsylvania In 2021

The Pennsylvania medical marijuana industry is going from strength to strength. MMJ patients in PA can now avail of a wide range of high-quality medicinal marijuana products that treat the symptoms of debilitating medical conditions and massively enhance quality of life.

Pennsylvania state law allows 198 MMJ dispensaries to operate. Dispensaries have opened up for business all across the state, but which Pennsylvania dispensaries are leading the pack and bringing patients the best service in 2021?

PA Dispensary Prices

Pennsylvania dispensary prices are actually some of the highest in the US. Even the cheapest dispensary in PA is more expensive than average dispensary prices in most other states.

What Do Pennsylvania MMJ Dispensaries Sell?

Pennsylvania MMJ dispensaries sell:

  • Marijuana flower
  • Tinctures and liquids
  • Oils
  • Topicals
  • Pills and capsules

It is illegal to smoke marijuana flower in Pennsylvania, so the flower available at PA dispensaries is meant only to be vaped.

MMJRecs - MMJ in hand
Image by StayRegular on Pixabay: What do Pennsylvania dispensaries sell in 2021?

How Much Can You Buy At A Dispensary In PA?

You can buy up to a 30-day supply of medical marijuana products from a Pennsylvania MMJ dispensary at any one time. It is illegal to possess any more than a 30-day MMJ supply in PA.

How Do You Pay For MMJ In PA Dispensaries?

Pennsylvania dispensaries do not accept credit or debit cards, because buying medical marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. Most dispensaries get around this by having an ATM on the premises or a cash register with an in-built ATM.

How Do You Get A Pennsylvania MMJ Card In 2021?

To get yourself a Pennsylvania MMJ patient card, simply register with the MMJRecs Online Clinic. You will then have a remote telemedicine consultation with a PA MMJ doctor who will verify that you have a qualifying condition and would benefit from MMJ treatment. They will then generate a unique MMJ recommendation for you that you can access at the Pennsylvania State Patient Portal. An MMJ recommendation costs $159 and the state application costs $50.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A PA MMJ Card In 2021?

To qualify for medical marijuana treatment in Pennsylvania in 2021 a person must have one or more of the following medical conditions:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intractable seizures
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuropathies
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • PTSD
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette syndrome

Who Can Verify An MMJ Card Application In PA?

Pennsylvania MMJ can only be prescribed by licensed physicians in PA. You can have a telemedicine consultation with a licensed PA MMJ doctor through MMJRecs online clinic.

Can Out-Of-State Card Holders Visit Pennsylvania MMJ Dispensaries?

Out-of-state medical marijuana card holders cannot purchase MMJ in Pennsylvania. It is illegal to enter a Pennsylvania MMJ dispensary without being in physical possession of a PA medical marijuana card.

Best Dispensaries In Pennsylvania In 2021

What’s the best dispensary in PA? It’s very hard to say, because the standard is high across the board. So instead of picking just one, here are five of the best dispensaries in Pennsylvania in 2021…

1. The Healing Center

With dispensaries in Cranberry Twp, Washington, and Monroeville, the Healing Center takes a holistic approach to wellness and health. It prides itself on educating its customers, and, of course, it offers excellent quality, locally produced MMJ products.

pittsburgh pennsylvania city view
Image by Lance Anderson on Unsplash: What are the best MMJ dispensaries in PA in 2021?

2. Keystone Center Of Integrated Wellness

Located in Williamsport, Keystone Center of Integrated Wellness is another dispensary that believes in a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. The staff at Keystone are passionate about medicinal marijuana and are eager to help and educate.

3. The Apothecarium

The Apothecarium has dispensaries in Plymouth Meeting, Lancaster, and Thorndale. With one of the best selections of high-quality MMJ products in Pennsylvania, the Apothecarium is a firm favorite with PA MMJ cardholders.

4. Curaleaf

With dispensaries in Altoona, Bradford, Brookville, DuBois, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Horsham, King of Prussia, Lebanon, Morton, and Philadelphia, Curaleaf offers top-quality medical cannabis products and has a staff of passionate MMJ industry professionals who are always eager to help and offer tips and advice.

5. Cure

Cure has dispensaries in Lancaster, Phoenixville, and Philadelphia. Its range of locally grown MMJ products and friendly staff make it an excellent PA MMJ dispensary with a loyal customer base and rapidly growing reputation among PA MMJ patients.

Featured image by RODNAE Productions on Pexels

What Do The Latest Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Law Changes Mean For MMJ Patients?

Medical marijuana has been legal in the state of Pennsylvania since April 6, 2016, with patients being able to access medical marijuana by 2018. When the laws were passed, many people were able to get the medical relief they needed for a variety of serious and chronic health conditions. It was a step in the right direction for medical marijuana use and the health of the Pennsylvania population.

Recent changes have been made to the laws surrounding medical marijuana in the state. The revisions passed in the House were advanced to help make some temporary changes more permanent. But what are the changes being made to the Pennsylvania medical marijuana act? And what do they mean for medical marijuana patients? 

What are the laws for medical marijuana in PA?

When it comes to Act 16, PA laws have allowed for a Medical Marijuana Program designed to give authorization to the Department of Health to distribute MMJ to patients with serious medical conditions. Some such conditions included in the act are cancer, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease and more.

medical marijuana being measured on scale
Image by Add Weed on Unsplash: With the latest changes to the medical marijuana laws in PA, patients will be allowed to have up to a three-month supply.

Prior to the changes being made, people with a valid medical card were allowed to possess up to a 30-day supply of cannabis products, including cannabis flower, cream, gels, oils, pills, liquids, ointments, and tinctures. Even though cannabis flower was added to the approved list after the fact, it is still illegal to smoke in Pennsylvania and thus must be used with a vaporizer.

The laws also state that consumption of medical marijuana can only be done at homes and private residences. Laws around employment are a little unclear, as employers have the right to approve or deny the use of medical marijuana on their property. Transportation of medical marijuana can only be done within state lines and can be no more than the approved amount of a 30-day supply.

What are the PA MMJ law changes and how will they affect you?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, making changes to specific legislations such as the Medical Marijuana Act proved difficult. Not being able to meet or vote on certain bills put a stall on some laws. In terms of MMJ, proposed changes had to be implemented temporarily so that patients with medical marijuana cards could still gain access to MMJ when they needed it.

In a recent House vote, however, certain revisions were made to the bill and the representatives voted 164 to 38 to pass these revisions; this allows it to be sent to the Senate. The proposed changes will affect how much MMJ a person can have with them at any given time. Previously, only a 30-day supply was legal, but with the recent changes, medical marijuana users can access up to a three-month supply. This will make it much easier for patients to get their medication without having to visit an approved dispensary each month.

Another revision was made to allow patients to pick their medicine up outside of a dispensary, instead of having to go in. These revisions were proposed so that the process of accessing medical marijuana is easier for patients. For those who grow or process medical marijuana, revisions have also been made to allow the use of pesticides as long as it falls under the standards of the Agriculture Department of the state.

medical marijuana grower
Image by Greenforce Staffing on Unsplash: Changes to PA MMJ laws will allow growers to use pesticides.

These revisions will not only make it easier for patients to access their medication, but also to get more at one time to avoid having to return to a dispensary every month. Many medications that are prescribed for various chronic ailments do not require patients to visit the pharmacy every 30 days, and now patients using medical marijuana in PA will be afforded the same courtesy. Growers and processers will also have more freedom to use products that will protect their crops from pests, which in turn could give them a higher chance at a healthy and viable harvest.

With the forward progress of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, many people are finally accessing treatment that helps them manage and cope with their diseases. These new revisions, if passed at the senate, will allow even more freedom and access to medical marijuana for approved users.

Featured image by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Do Pennsylvania Dispensaries Accept Credit Cards?

Pennsylvania dispensary laws can be somewhat confusing for first-time visitors and new MMJ patients. Dispensaries have only been open for business in Pennsylvania since 2018, so the Keystone State has a lot of relatively new MMJ patients.

The confusion comes from the fact that, due to conflicting state and federal laws, Pennsylvania dispensaries cannot accept direct credit card payments. This means patients need to bring cash to pay for medical marijuana in many PA MMJ dispensaries.

In our increasingly cashless society, this situation is inconvenient for patients. Carrying cash can be cumbersome and risky, so many people don’t like to do it. In response to this situation, some Pennsylvania dispensaries have come up with workarounds, such as on-site ATMs.

Unsurprisingly, people tend to have a lot of questions about how to pay for their MMJ in Pennsylvania dispensaries. Do Pennsylvania dispensaries accept credit cards? Are dispensaries in Pennsylvania cash only? Why are PA dispensaries cash only? Let’s cut through the confusion and uncover the facts.

Do Pennsylvania Dispensaries Accept Credit Cards?

The official answer to the question “Do PA dispensaries take credit cards?” is no. Pennsylvania MMJ dispensaries do not directly accept credit card payments.

Are Dispensaries In PA Cash Only?

Yes, Pennsylvania MMJ dispensaries technically only accept cash payments. However, many PA dispensaries have registers that function as mini ATMs that allow you to use a cash card or credit card with a pin to pay.

person counting cash payment
Image by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash: Do PA dispensaries take credit cards? Unfortunately, they cannot.

Why Are PA Dispensaries Cash Only?

Pennsylvania dispensaries are cash only due to the conflict between state and federal laws regarding medical marijuana. Marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, so it is illegal for federally regulated banks and credit card companies to interact with the marijuana industry.

Can You Use Your Credit Card In Pennsylvania Dispensaries?

You cannot pay for MMJ directly with a cash card or credit card in PA. But you can use your cards to pay using the registers that function as mini ATMs at most Pennsylvania dispensaries. So in practice, you will usually not need to bring a bunch of banknotes with you to your local PA dispensary.

Bear in mind that if you are visiting a PA dispensary for the first time, it is a good idea to call ahead to find out how you can pay at that particular establishment.

Can You Buy MMJ Without A Medical Card In Pennsylvania?

You cannot purchase medical marijuana products in Pennsylvania MMJ dispensaries if you are not in physical possession of your own PA medical marijuana card.

People who are not in possession of a valid Pennsylvania patient or caregiver MMJ card are not allowed to enter PA dispensaries.

How Do I Get A Pennsylvania MMJ Card?

To get a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card, visit the MMJRecs online clinic, where you can have a telemedicine consultation with a PA MMJ doctor. Once the MMJ doctor verifies your suitability to receive MMJ treatment, you will be generated a unique MMJ doctor’s recommendation that you can then access at the Pennsylvania State Patient Portal. You then submit your application and payment electronically from the PA State Patient Portal.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A PA Medical Marijuana Card?

Pennsylvania has an extensive list of conditions that can legally be treated with MMJ. Here is the list of Pennsylvania medical marijuana card qualifying conditions:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intractable seizures
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuropathies
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • PTSD
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette syndrome

How Much Does A Pennsylvania Medical Card Cost?

Pennsylvania MMJ cards cost $50. People who participate in Medicaid may be entitled to a discount.

How Long Does It Take To Get A PA MMJ Card?

Once you have submitted your Pennsylvania MMJ card application it will be processed within seven business days. You’ll need to allow up to 14 days for postage, so you should expect your card to arrive within three weeks of you submitting your application.

american cash
Image by Annie Spratt on Unsplash: Can I buy medical marijuana without a card in Pennsylvania?

Can Out-Of-State Cardholders Buy Medical Marijuana In PA?

Unfortunately, Pennsylvania does not practice reciprocity with other legal MMJ states. This means that out-of-state MMJ cardholders are not able to buy MMJ in PA dispensaries.

What Products Do Pennsylvania Dispensaries Sell?

Once you have your Pennsylvania medical marijuana card, you can choose from a good selection of MMJ treatments that are available at PA MMJ dispensaries. Pennsylvania dispensaries sell:

  • Marijuana flower
  • Marijuana pre-rolls
  • MMJ pills and capsules
  • MMJ oils
  • Tinctures and liquids
  • Topicals (such as creams, ointments, and patches)

Featured image by Clay Banks on Unsplash

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

Can You Get Fired For Having A Medical Card In Pennsylvania?

On April 17, 2016, Pennsylvania’s governor legalized the use of medical marijuana in the state, and from February 15th, 2018, those with a need for medical marijuana because of various health conditions were able to purchase and use cannabis legally. The medical relief provided by these new laws helped many patients who had been suffering from long-term conditions.

To get medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, patients have to register through the medical marijuana registry, be certified by a physician, pay for their medical marijuana ID card, and obtain their medication from approved dispensaries across the state. When it comes to medical marijuana laws in Pennsylvania, some might be unsure of what is OK and what isn’t, especially when it comes to their workplace. So, does having a medical marijuana card in the state of Pennsylvania make it more difficult to get and keep a job? Can you get fired for having a medical card in Pennsylvania? Let’s find out.

Getting a job with a medical card in Pennsylvania

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, over half a million people in the state have a medical marijuana card for various health conditions such as cancer and epilepsy. There are some complications when it comes to work due to the fact that marijuana is still illegal on a federal level. The state of Pennsylvania does provide some protection for those looking for a job with medical marijuana cards; however, this protection is limited.

The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act was launched to help those who are looking for work in the state at the same time as using medical marijuana. Since many people have debilitating health conditions, the use of marijuana as medicine can help to curb or lessen their symptoms, making them more able to perform work tasks.

people shaking hands at place of employment
Image by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash: You don’t have to volunteer the information that you have a medical card to your employer, but if they ask, it’s best to be honest.

Can my employer find out I have a medical card?

As per the laws surrounding medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, your employer does not have to be privy to the fact that you have a medical marijuana card. You do not have to disclose to your employer that you use medical marijuana off hours for a debilitating health condition, and chances are they will not ask. In the event that they do ask about your medical marijuana card status (since it is not against the law to inquire about), the best approach is to tell them the truth.

In the event that you are applying for a job that performs drug tests, you should be prepared to be upfront about your medical marijuana card status and provide your supporting documentation. Since it is against the law for an employer to refuse hiring you if you use medical marijuana, that should not hinder your chances of securing a job.

Can an employer fire you for using CBD oil?

In the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act, there are some anti-discrimination protections for patients when it comes to their jobs. These protections are meant to help people when it comes to getting hired (or fired) from their respective employment. The laws say that employees cannot be fired, threatened, refused employment, or otherwise discriminated against on the grounds that they have a medical marijuana card and use medical marijuana.

This means that if you are looking for work or you’re already employed and you have a medical marijuana card, an employer cannot legally fire you or refuse to hire you for using cannabis as medicine. These laws were put into place to help employees when it comes to random drug testing.

Can I use medical marijuana while at work?

When it comes to where you use your medical marijuana, the laws can be a little bit more complicated. It is typically up to the employer whether or not you are able to use your medical marijuana while on the job, depending on how well you can perform and whether the use of MMJ affects the safety of yourself or others around you.

Pennsylvania laws do not force employers’ hands when it comes to accommodations for the use of medical marijuana by employees at their business. If you are using MMJ while at work, it is also up to the employer whether or not to discipline you for being under the influence of a substance while on the job.

Depending on how much THC is in your blood while on the job, employers can also limit your duties, according to the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act. If you have more than 10 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood in your system, you could be restricted from working with chemicals that require a state or federal permit, with high-voltage electricity, or with other public utilities.

man lighting mmj cigarette
Image by Matt Moloney on Unsplash: You cannot be fired for having a medical marijuana card, but that doesn’t mean you can use marijuana on the job.

Can you pass a drug test with a medical card?

Having a medical marijuana card does not exempt you from drug tests, nor will it help when it comes to testing positive for having marijuana in your system. If you take medical marijuana to help with a chronic health condition, you will test positive for marijuana in your system.

The best way to approach employment in the state of Pennsylvania when you have a medical marijuana card is to know your rights and any limitations that you face.

Featured image by Hunters Race on Unsplash

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

Pennsylvania passed a bill to legalize medical marijuana in 2016. PA dispensaries started selling a wide variety of MMJ products to medical cardholders at the beginning of 2018.

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program is still relatively new, so current and prospective PA MMJ patients still have quite a lot of questions about the fine details of the Pennsylvania program. Some of the most common questions we get asked are related to who exactly can visit Pennsylvania dispensaries and under what circumstances.

Can you visit a dispensary without a card in Pennsylvania? Can I go to a dispensary before my card arrives in PA? Can you purchase MMJ while you are awaiting your card in the mail? Can you go to a Pennsylvania dispensary with an approval email only? Today we will answer all these questions and more.

philadelphia city pennsylvania at night
Image by 12019 on Pixabay: Can I go to a dispensary without a card in Pennsylvania?

What Is The MMJ Dispensary Scene Like In PA?

The Pennsylvania MMJ dispensary scene is somewhat more limited and low-key than in some other states. Only 50 permits will be issued across the entire state of Pennsylvania, but each dispensary permit holder can open three branches in separate locations.

Despite the limited number of dispensaries in PA, they sell a relatively wide range of high-quality, locally sourced medical marijuana products.

Can You Purchase Products Without An MMJ Card In Pennsylvania?

You cannot purchase any type of medical marijuana product in Pennsylvania without a PA MMJ card. You must be in physical possession of your PA medical card in order to purchase MMJ in the state.

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

Unfortunately, you cannot go into a Pennsylvania MMJ dispensary without your MMJ card. This means that you cannot purchase medical marijuana while you are awaiting your card in the mail, nor can you visit a PA dispensary with an approval email only.

You do not need to show any other form of ID, apart from your patient or caregiver MMJ card, to enter a Pennsylvania dispensary.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Pennsylvania?

You should allow seven days from the day you pay for your PA MMJ card for it to be mailed. Once it has been mailed, it can take up to 14 days to arrive at your home.

How Much Does A PA MMJ Card Cost?

A Pennsylvania medical marijuana card costs $50. You may qualify for a discounted MMJ card if you participate in Medicaid.

What Are The Rules For Visiting MMJ Dispensaries In PA?

Only people in possession of their own patient or caregiver Pennsylvania medical marijuana card may visit a PA dispensary. There is no legal limit on how much MMJ you can purchase at a PA dispensary. However, some dispensaries impose their own limit on how much MMJ one person can buy at one time.

Are PA Dispensaries Cash Only?

Pennsylvania dispensaries are technically cash only. However, most have registers that can function as mini ATMs, and so in these you can use a cash card or credit card with a pin to pay for MMJ.

Can Out-Of-State Cardholders Buy MMJ In Pennsylvania?

You cannot use an out-of-state MMJ card to purchase medical marijuana products in Pennsylvania dispensaries.

What Products Can I Purchase In Pennsylvania MMJ Dispensaries?

Pennsylvania dispensaries sell the following products:

  • Marijuana flower
  • Pre-rolls
  • Tinctures and liquids
  • Oils
  • Topicals (such as cremes, ointments, and patches)
  • Pills and capsules
Image by gjbmiller on Pixabay: How long does it take to get a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania?

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Pennsylvania MMJ Card?

To qualify for a Pennsylvania MMJ card, you must have one or more of the following qualifying conditions:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intractable seizures
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuropathies
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • PTSD
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette syndrome

How Do I Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Pennsylvania?

The best way to get a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card is to have a telemedicine consultation with a PA MMJ doctor on the MMJRecs online clinic. Once the MMJ doctor has verified your suitability for MMJ treatment, they will generate a unique medical marijuana recommendation that you can access at the Pennsylvania State Patient Portal.

Featured image by 12019 on Pixabay

Medical Marijuana In Pennsylvania Just Surpassed $1bn In All-Time Sales: But What Are The Qualifying Conditions?

Since 2016, Pennsylvania’s compassionate medical cannabis legislation, SB3, has offered those with certain medical conditions relief in the form of medical marijuana. Recently, Pennsylvania surpassed $1 billion in all-time sales of medical marijuana. Evidently, the program is quite successful.

If you’re a Pennsylvania resident and interested in finding out if you qualify for medical marijuana, then read on for all you need to know.

Is Marijuana Legal In Pennsylvania?

Medical marijuana is legal in Pennsylvania, but recreational use is illegal. In some cities, being caught with a small amount of marijuana will not get you in trouble, but it does remain illegal at the state level.

Qualifying Medical Conditions For MMJ In Pennsylvania

Several conditions qualify you for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Anyone with a terminal illness qualifies, as well as anyone diagnosed with:

  • Autism
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Severe intractable or chronic pain
  • Cancer
  • PTSD
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Damage to the spinal cord
  • Neuropathies
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Glaucoma
  • Seizures
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Cancer remission therapy is also a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Children under the age of 18 with a medical condition that qualifies under the law can also be given an MMJ card. A parent, legal guardian, or caregiver will need to administer the MMJ to the minor under the Safe Harbor Letter, which allows them to possess and administer MMJ on behalf of the minor.

MMJRecs - marijuana plant
Image by Jeff W on Unsplash: Pennsylvania MMJ is a big hit, so is it easy to get a medical card in PA? If you have a qualifying condition, yes.

Anyone who is registered as an MMJ patient (and their caregiver) is protected from discrimination, arrest, and prosecution under the MMJ laws in the state. These legal protections do not cover the user or caregiver until their MMJ card has been received. It’s also important to note that it is not required for employers to accommodate the use of MMJ by employees on-site.

Having A Physician Certify Your Condition

Under Pennsylvania law, patients must be under the care of a doctor who can issue them certification for medical marijuana during an in-person visit. Certifications are required to state that the patient does indeed have one of the qualifying conditions and that it is believed they will benefit from the use of medical marijuana. A doctor must register and report to the state Department of Health if the qualifying patient no longer needs access to MMJ due to improved status in their condition.

Limits On Usage

There are only certain types of products legally available in Pennsylvania for MMJ users: oils, creams, tinctures, gels, pills, ointments, non-whole plant forms for consumption through vaporization, and liquid.

It is not legal to sell MMJ edibles at MMJ dispensaries in Pennsylvania. However, it is legal to introduce MMJ products into items you eat or drink if that is how the patients prefer to administer them. You cannot smoke MMJ, either. Dried flower vaporization is now legal in the state, but it still cannot be smoked.

MMJ Dispensaries In Pennsylvania

Only 150 dispensaries are allowed to legally operate in the state at once. Each dispensary can have up to three locations. Dispensaries must submit applications to become state-sanctioned.

Fees For A Pennsylvania MMJ Card

There is a $50 fee to apply for a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania. You’ll need a state-issued identification, such as a driver’s license with a current address, to apply, and a background check must be completed.

MMJRecs - cannabis vape
Image by Jeff W on Unsplash: How much can you buy at a dispensary in PA? Be sure you know the rules before you shop.

Can You Use A Pennsylvania MMJ Card In Another State?

Using an MMJ card from another state to access medical marijuana is called reciprocity. In Pennsylvania, no reciprocity is offered. The state does not recognize the MMJ programs of other states; its MMJ program is only open to residents of Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania medical marijuana program is a great thing for the 300,000+ residents who have taken advantage of it so far. If you have questions about MMJ in PA, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health, which administers the program, to have your questions answered. You should also discuss this program with your doctor if you feel you qualify for it, and if it might help you to live a more productive, pain-free life.

Featured image by Scott Serhat Duygun on Unsplash

9 Best MMJ Dispensaries In Pennsylvania

When the Medical Marijuana Act was enabled in Pennsylvania in 2016, it opened the door for many people with chronic health issues to find relief through the use of cannabis. Dispensaries began to serve the public in April 2018, and since then, plenty more have opened their doors, making medical marijuana accessible for those that need it.

The best dispensaries in Pennsylvania offer three important things: accessibility, affordability, and quality. Below we’ll take a look at some of the rules around buying MMJ in PA, and round up a list of some Pennsylvania dispensaries you might want to try.

Can I go to a dispensary without a card in Pennsylvania?

To buy medical marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania, one must have an identification card proving they need MMJ for a specific medical condition. The condition itself does not need to be disclosed, but the process does need to be followed according to state laws. The same law applies when entering a medical marijuana dispensary. Without the proper identification card, access will be denied.

How much can you buy at a dispensary in PA?

The amount of medical marijuana you can buy at a dispensary in Pennsylvania will vary, because the laws state that you can purchase up to a 30-day supply. Much like in other states, though, there is no specific cap set on the amount. This means that a 30-day supply will vary from person to person. The staff at the dispensary should be able to help you determine how much you need to use per day to help with your condition so you can purchase accordingly.

MMJRecs - rolling MMJ
Image by Wesley Gibbs on Unsplash: Medical marijuana patients can purchase up to a 30-day supply at one time; however, the actual amounts needed will vary from person to person.

Pennsylvania dispensaries

Pennsylvania has a wide variety of dispensaries to choose from. Some focus on providing an extensive range of products, while others pride themselves on their ability to provide an unforgettable customer experience. The best of the best of medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania include the following:

1. The Green Remedy – Philadelphia

The Green Remedy is a compassionate cannabis center that provides holistic care and nutrition therapy. Staff at The Green Remedy work with their patients from beginning to end to help get  the right course of medical marijuana treatment.

2. Cure – Multiple locations

Cure offers medical marijuana in pills, oils, tinctures, concentrates, creams, gels, and ointments, and dry leaves. Their three locations serve the areas of Phoenixville, Philadelphia, and Lancaster.

3. Organic Remedies – Multiple locations

Quality is of the utmost importance at Organic Remedies. They have two locations to serve the areas of Chambersburg and Enola. Organic Remedies have partnered with the PA Medical Marijuana Program Approved Growers and Producers so they can give patients the highest quality medical marijuana products on the market today.

4. Rise – Multiple locations

Rise is not just a dispensary. It also acts a resource center so that patients can become thoroughly educated on the use of medical marijuana through their Cannabis Classroom program. They also have rewards programs, online booking, and an unrivaled dedication to their patients.

5. Justice Grown Pennsylvania – Edwardsville

The personal touches provided by the staff at Justice Grown Pennsylvania are unmatched at other dispensaries across the state. They offer information resources and a varied selection of products to suit anyone’s medical marijuana needs.

6. Columbia Care – Multiple locations

The first thing patients notice when they enter Columbia Care is the welcoming environment. They offer all the typical menu items to suit anyone’s particular medical marijuana requirements and have three locations serving Scranton, Allentown, and Wilkes-Barre. Columbia Care is the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the country, with locations in 13 states.

7. Harvest HOC – Multiple locations

Harvest HOC provides patients with medical marijuana from five different locations to choose from: Scranton, Johnstown, Harrisburg, and two in Reading. They pride themselves on the quality of their offerings with “stringent standards”. Their website states that they “go above and beyond state requirements” to ensure that their clients are receiving only the best medical marijuana.

MMJRecs - MMJ plants
Image by Next Green Wave on Unsplash: Many dispensaries in PA grow medical marijuana with the highest of quality in mind.

8. Nature’s Medicine – Multiple locations

Nature’s Medicine combines education and scientific evidence to create a dispensary experience for those seeking medical marijuana for their ailments. They believe in the power cannabis has over healing, and they have made a commitment to quality so all of their patients can purchase products that were grown with the purpose of healing in mind. They have locations in Bloomsburg, Selinsgrove, and State College, and their website has an easy online ordering system for convenience and accessibility.

9. Herbology – Multiple locations

Herbology is a popular choice for medical marijuana patients with locations in Altoona, Bradford, Brookville, DuBois, Gettysburg, King of Prussia, Lebanon, Morton, and Philadelphia. The widespread availability of a Herbology dispensary makes it highly accessible to anyone living in the state of Pennsylvania.

Depending on your location and how far along in the process you are, choosing the right dispensary for you is imperative in your healing journey. Some medical marijuana patients may look to find the cheapest dispensary in PA; however, it’s important to keep in mind that quality is the most important aspect of medication. Since prices do vary among dispensaries, it could be good to check out menus and availability online to see which suits you best.

Featured image by Manish Panghal on Unsplash

Pennsylvania And Medical Marijuana: Everything You Need To Know

The legalization of medical marijuana is spreading across the United States. Research has shown that marijuana can be effective in treating many health disorders or in the management of symptoms for others.

In Pennsylvania, the Medical Marijuana Act was brought into effect in May 2016. Dispensaries became available to serve the public in April of 2018 as long as customers have a qualifying health condition. Conditions that have been considered for medical marijuana treatment include:

  • Cancer
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Tourette syndrome
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Neuropathies
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Chron’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Intractable seizures
  • Glaucoma
  • Autism
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Brain and spinal cord nervous tissue damage
  • Spastic movement disorder
  • Opioid reduction therapy
  • Chronic pain

To qualify for medical marijuana, a patient must have one of the above conditions and be prescribed a treatment plan by a certified physician. At this current time, recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in the state of Pennsylvania.

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Image by CBD-Infos-Com on Pixabay: Medical marijuana comes in many forms, such as oils and tinctures.

Is it hard to get a medical card in PA?

The process to get a card for the use of medical marijuana isn’t difficult in Pennsylvania, but as in other states, it does require a series of steps. First, a person must register on the Medical Marijuana Registry. This involves creating a profile with relevant information such as contact details, full name, and identification.

Following registration, a person must be diagnosed with a qualifying condition by a registered physician willing to give them a recommendation for the use of medical marijuana. Following recommendation, a person must apply for their Medical Marijuana ID card. This involves applying with your created profile and paying an application fee of $50.

How long does it take to get your medical card in the mail in PA?

Once all the above steps are completed, the medical marijuana will be sent out via mail. The timeline of the paperwork process to get a medical marijuana card will differ from person to person and depending on the time of year.


It may take anywhere from five business days to two weeks to receive the medical marijuana card in the mail, so it’s important to be patient during this time. It’s also important to note that your MMJ card is only valid for one calendar year and must be renewed annually.

Can you get fired for having a medical card in Pennsylvania?

Getting a medical marijuana card does not exempt a person from other laws in place. There are certain restrictions that those with cards must adhere to in order to remain eligible. For example, a person cannot grow their own medical marijuana in the state of Pennsylvania. All medicinal forms must be purchased from a licensed and registered dispensary.

A person must also adhere to laws such as not driving under the influence of MMJ, as well as not selling any medical marijuana they purchase. When it comes to the workplace, an MMJ card holder must adhere to work rules surrounding the policy on marijuana, such as avoiding use while at work and on work property.

According to provisions made to employment regulations, employers do not have the right to “discharge, threaten, refuse, to hire or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against an employee regarding an employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, location, or privileges solely on the basis of such employee’s status as an individual who is certified to use medical marijuana.” This makes it illegal for any employer to fire you solely for having a medical marijuana card, and it can give you the right to legal recourse if they do.

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Image by Startup Stock Photos on Unsplash: In Pennsylvania, employers are strictly prohibited from firing an employee based on their medical marijuana status.

How much can you buy at a dispensary in PA?

Pennsylvania has made it illegal to smoke marijuana flower, so it can only be consumed in forms such as pills, oils, tinctures, topical creams and lotions, liquids, and dried in a vaporizer.

At any given time, a person certified to have medical marijuana can obtain a 30-day supply.

This requirement can pose some problems for those looking to buy their medical marijuana, because the exact amount is unclear according to the Medical Marijuana Act. Since doctors are not prescribing certain amounts or types, it can be ambiguous in how much is too much.

Other states such as New Jersey have put forth specific limits. For example, in New Jersey, a person with a medical marijuana card can purchase two ounces per month. A restriction in amount has not yet been explored in the state of Pennsylvania, which leaves the door open for people to purchase as much as they want.

Medical marijuana has been proven to help people cope and manage a myriad of different health conditions. As more and more states legalize the use of marijuana for medical reasons, laws are sure to become more expansive.

Featured image by Kelly Kiernan on Unsplash

5 Best Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s MMJ program is one of the newest in the US. The state’s medical cannabis legislation came into effect in May 2016, and the rollout of the program is progressing well. Medical marijuana dispensaries in the Keystone State began serving PA MMJ card holders in early 2018. New dispensaries are being licensed, and more and more PA residents are getting to avail of the huge benefits of medical marijuana treatment.

In terms of openness and patient-friendliness, PA’s medical cannabis program ranks pretty highly. It is certainly not as laissez-faire as the most liberal MMJ states, such as Oregon and Oklahoma, but it is less restrictive than many of the newest MMJ states.

MMJ Recs - Cannabis Buds
Image by msqrd2 on Pixabay: MMJ is growing in popularity in Pennsylvania.

Where To Buy MMJ In Pennsylvania

You can purchase medical marijuana products in Pennsylvania MMJ dispensaries. PA MMJ dispensaries are located all across the state. Most dispensaries are situated in the largest urban areas, Philadelphia and Pittsburg. But many smaller hubs also have a medical cannabis dispensary or two.

Do PA Dispensaries Sell Flower?

Pennsylvania MMJ dispensaries sell a wide range of marijuana flower, including Indica, Sativa, and hybrid strains. However, flower is only for sale for the purpose of vaporizing. It is illegal to smoke Pennsylvania medical marijuana flower.

As well as flower, Pennsylvania dispensaries also sell:

  • Pre-rolls
  • Tinctures and liquids
  • Oils
  • Topicals (such as cremes, ointments, and patches)
  • Pills and capsules

How Much Can You Buy At A Dispensary In PA?

There is no legal limit on how much medical marijuana you can purchase at a Pennsylvania dispensary. However, it is illegal to be in possession of more than a 30-day supply of MMJ in the state. Many PA dispensaries impose their own limit on how much of a given product one person can buy at one time. This is to make sure that there is sufficient product available for all patients.

Best Medical Marijuana Dispensaries In Pennsylvania

Let’s take a look at a few dispensary options for those wondering where to buy MMJ in Pennsylvania.

1. The Apothecarium

This PA dispensary has branches in Plymouth Meeting, Lancaster, and Thorndale. Each branch is modern and stylishly decorated. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and eager to help. They offer a nice range of various strains of flower, tinctures, capsules, and concentrates. You can shop online or utilize in-store, drive-thru, or curbside pickup options. The Apothecarium also offers some great birthday special offers.

2. Herbology

Herbology has nine branches in Pennsylvania. They offer a broad range of high-quality, competitively priced MMJ products including flower, tinctures, creams, capsules, and sprays. Like all the great dispensaries, Herbology is dedicated to educating its customers and providing knowledge and understanding alongside its range of medical cannabis products.

3. Just Grown

Just Grown has branches at Dickson City and Edwardsville, just outside Scranton. They offer high-quality medical cannabis products at competitive prices. Their cannabis is grown using sustainable farming methods and they have a tasty menu with a wide range of Sativa, Indica, and hybrid strains of flower.

4. Cure

Cure has branches in Lancaster, Phoenixville, and Philadelphia. The staff at each Cure branch are highly trained MMJ experts. The product range on offer is always diverse, high-quality, and very reasonably priced.

5. Rise Cannabis

Rise has 13 locations across Pennsylvania. All Rise dispensaries have dedicated and knowledgeable staff, so they are a great place to learn about MMJ, whether you are a new patient or you have been availing of MMJ treatment for a few years.

MMJRecs - Philadelphia city
Image by James Harrison on Unsplash: Philadelphia has several excellent MMJ dispensaries.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Pennsylvania MMJ Card?

The qualifying conditions for a Pennsylvania MMJ card include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intractable seizures
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuropathies
  • Opioid use disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • PTSD
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette syndrome

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

You cannot enter a PA dispensary without showing a physical Pennsylvania medical marijuana card.

Can Out-Of-State Cardholders Buy Medical Marijuana In Pennsylvania?

Out-of-state MMJ card holders are not permitted to purchase medical cannabis in Pennsylvania.

How Can I Get A Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card?

You can get a Pennsylvania medical cannabis card by registering on the MMJRecs Online Clinic website. The process is entirely remote and you will consult with your MMJ doctor face-to-face via video chat. Once the doctor has verified that you have a qualifying condition, they will generate a unique MMJ recommendation that you will then access at the Pennsylvania State Patient Portal. The MMJ recommendation costs $159 and the state application fee is $50.

Featured image by ActionVance on Unsplash