Unless some radical, unforeseen, and controversial changes are made in
a hurry, Pennsylvania should be the next state – the 24th in the Union – to legalize the use of medical marijuana. Earlier
in the month (March, 16th 2016), the state’s Senate approved Senate Bill 3 to an astounding
149 to 43 vote count. The bipartisan bill has been tinkered with numerous
times since its original inception but finally came to a point that lawmakers
could agree upon. If its present form is signed into law by Governor Wolf,
who has been advocate for legalizing medical marijuana for some time,
Senate Bill 3 will be strictly for medical use in circumstances approved
by the state.
The bill will
- Smoking marijuana recreationally.
- Selling edible marijuana at regulated dispensaries.
- Cultivation of marijuana or cannabis in the home.
- Unregulated prices of medical marijuana sales.
[A full version of the bill and its amendments can be viewed
A Big Step In the Right Direction
The approval of Senate Bill 3 marks an important date in the campaign to
legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, and indeed around the United
States. It is not, however, the ultimate goal. There still must be advances
in how marijuana, cannabis, and hemp are recognized, studied, understood,
and used. The social stigma that these are dangerous substances requiring
a Schedule I rating is still widespread and legally reinforced.
At Sacks Weston Diamond LLC, our Philadelphia litigation lawyers have long
sided with and supported the American Trade Association of Cannabis and Hemp (ATACH). Led by Attorney Sacks in this ongoing issue, our law firm believes that
with persistence and legal knowledge, the truth of safe marijuana, cannabis,
and hemp use will soon come to fruition through the law. If you have any
questions about Senate Bill 3 or ATACH’s ongoing work, you can
contact our law firm today.
The Department of Health (DOH) will be in charge of overseeing, controlling,
and modifying the medical marijuana programs throughout Pennsylvania.
They are the only group that can set prices of medical marijuana, give
out authorized licenses to growers and dispensaries – limited to
25 and 50, respectively – and impose the 5% tax of medical marijuana;
the tax will only be collected from cultivators and is illegal to pass
along to consumers. While the DOH will also monitor THC levels in medical
marijuana, there is currently no cap on how much of the chemical can be
in a dosage.
Ailments that could qualify a patient for medical marijuana use include: Autism Cancer Crohn’s disease Epilepsy Glaucoma HIV and AIDS Multiple
sclerosis Parkinson’s disease