Lawmaker applauds progress of Pa. medical marijuana program

State Rep. Pamela A. DeLissio, D-Montgomery/Phila., applauded the progress of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, just over two years after S.B.3, known as Act 16 of 2016, was passed and signed into law.

DeLissio recently updated constituents on the program at her 75th Town Hall meeting with special guest Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine. The discussion focused on an update on the rollout of medical marijuana and the efforts that the Commonwealth has undertaken to combat the opioid crisis.

“Medical marijuana is an important treatment option for citizens, and my office is committed to helping any constituent who needs assistance navigating the medical marijuana process,” DeLissio said.

DeLissio said that if someone thinks that they have a condition that qualifies them for medical marijuana, they should consult with their physician and go online to www.medicalmarijuana.pa.gov to view the list of qualifying conditions. Originally there were 17 qualifying conditions, and four have been added recently.

On the website is a list of doctors who are approved to recommend medical marijuana. DeLissio said that the list is not comprehensive, as some physicians may choose not to be listed in the online registry. Eligible patients are required to register, and this process also can be completed online at the same website. Currently there are 84 physicians in Montgomery County and 133 in Philadelphia who are listed to certify patients to participate in the medical marijuana program.

“I am pleased with how quickly this brand new industry has been set up and made operational, providing a valuable resource to Pennsylvania residents,” she said. “The legislation also includes a research component, and this will greatly aid our understanding of the use and benefits of medical marijuana.

“The research program is a very important and integral component of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, and I’m very proud that the original bill made it a priority. I was also proud to support the recent passage of legislation clarifying and strengthening the research program. The more we understand the benefits of medical marijuana, the more licensed health care providers may be inclined to recommend it and the more citizens might consider using it as a resource.”

Residents of the 194th Legislative District have a number of options for obtaining medical marijuana. Two of the 29 dispensaries statewide are located in Fishtown and in Wayne.

At the town hall, Levine also updated attendees on the commonwealth’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis. Interestingly, DeLissio noted, medical marijuana has recently been approved for opioid-use disorder and will serve as a valuable tool in the fight to control the opioid crisis.

DeLissio said that the attendees included a diverse group of constituents who enhanced this town hall with their thoughtful questions and commentary.

More information, including a complete list of qualifying conditions, registered physicians in the area and patient registration, is available on the Department of Health website at www.medicalmarijuana.pa.gov.