Pennsylvania’s patient and caregiver regulations answer the who and the how questions in obtaining medical marijuana. [1] For example, how does the law distinguish caregivers from patients? What are the rights of each class of persons? How do patients register with the state? What type of identification is needed when a patient goes to their local dispensary? The regulations answer these questions and detail the state ID card application process, the responsibilities of cardholders, the process by which identification cards can be modified or updated, and the penalties for misusing identification cards.

The first installation of this series, entitled “Medical Marijuana Comes to Pennsylvania: What to Expect as the Keystone State Rolls Out its New Medical Marijuana Program,” provided an overview of Act 16 generally, including its emphasis on medical research incentives and its temporary regulations for growers, processors, and laboratories. The second installation, titled “Medical Marijuana Comes to Pennsylvania (Part 2): State Finalizes Act 16’s Temporary Physician and Practitioner Regulations,” detailed the rules governing physicians who seek to prescribe medical marijuana as a method of treatment in Pennsylvania. This alert will detail the regulations governing Pennsylvania patients and caregivers.

Recent Updates on Act 16 Implementation

In the final days of June 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (“DOH”) announced the recipients of the 12 medical marijuana grower and processor licenses and 27 medical marijuana dispensary permits.[2] The competitive process required the DOH to select the final awardees from a pool of 457 total applicants: 177 grower and processer licenses and 280 dispensary licenses.[3] At the end of July 2017, the DOH launched its practitioner registry for the Medical Marijuana Program. When the DOH surveyed 193 Pennsylvania physicians, approximately 73 percent stated that they might participate in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program.[4] The Department of Health currently reports over 100 approved

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