Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania


Agency Reg Being Considered Proposed Date of Promulgation Need and Legal Basis for Action Agency Contact
Education Dept of Education, 22 Pa. Code Chapter 751 Summer 2022, as Proposed These regulations will address the possession and use of medical marijuana by students and employees on the grounds of a preschool, primary school and a secondary school. These regulations are promulgated under authority of the Medical Marijuana Act (2016 Pa. Laws 16). Sherri Smith, 717-772-4557
Health Medical Marijuana Program 28 Pa. Code Chapters 1141a—1230a May 2022, as Final-Form To promulgate permanent regulations to update existing temporary regulations for the Medical Marijuana program. Carol Mowery (717) 783-2500

Pete Blank (717)-547-3454

Human Services Medical Marijuana in Facilities 55 Pa. Code Chapters 3270, 3280, 3290, 3800, 5310, 6400 and 6600 Spring 2022, as Proposed This proposed regulation will amend Chapters 3270, 3280, 3290, 3700, 3800, 5310, 6400 and 6600 as directed by Section 2105 of the Medical Marijuana Act, regarding possession and use of medical marijuana by children and employees in childcare centers or other social services centers. Tanoa Fagan (717) 787-8307


Program Overview:

On April 17, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 16, Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act, into law. The medical marijuana program, which has received bi-partisan support throughout the state, has been entrusted to the Pennsylvania Department of Health for implementation.

Once operational, Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program permits approved physicians to recommend medical marijuana for the following serious medical conditions:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Parkinson’s disease.
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Huntington’s disease.
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Intractable seizures.
  • Sickle cell anemia.
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective.
  • Autism
  • Terminal illness
  • Anxiety disorders;
  • Cancer, including remission therapy;
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders;
  • Epilepsy;
  • Glaucoma;
  • Neurodegenerative diseases;
  • Neuropathies;
  • Opioid use disorder for which conventional therapeutic interventions are contraindicated or ineffective, or for which adjunctive therapy is indicated in combination with primary therapeutic interventions;
  • Tourette syndrome.

For a full list of research related to the above Pennsylvania-approved conditions, please refer to our conditions and research guide.

The types of medical marijuana currently permitted under Pennsylvania’s law are pills, oils, gels, creams, ointments, tinctures, liquid, and non-whole plant forms for administration through vaporization.  However, the law provides an avenue for the Pennsylvania Department of Health to expand the program into medicinal forms that can be smoked or eaten based on the recommendations of its advisory board.

Growers/Processors and Dispensaries

The Department’s review of dispensary and grower/processor applications is currently underway, and permits are expected to be awarded by June 30, 2017. The Pennsylvania law allows for a total of 25 grower/processor permits and 50 dispensary permits with 3 locations for each dispensary permit.  However, for this initial permitting phase, the Department intends to issue 27 dispensary permits and 12 grower/processor permits as indicated by the map below:


On May 11, 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Health released applications for laboratories to seek approval to identify, collect, handle, and test medical marijuana for growers/processors and/or the Department.  The Department has not released a due date for medical marijuana laboratory applications, and the law does not limit the number of laboratory approvals by the Department.

Patients and Caregivers

The Department is in the process of developing the process for patients and caregivers to obtain medical marijuana ID cards. In the meantime, patients under the age of 21 may apply to the Department for a Safe Harbor Letter that would protect minor patients and their caregivers who obtain and administer medical marijuana in the Commonwealth.

Additional Benefits for Pennsylvania

In addition to providing medical marijuana as a treatment option, Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law provides for funding for research institutions to study the use of medical marijuana to treat other serious conditions. In addition to funding for implementation and research, the law further provides revenue to the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs for drug abuse prevention, counseling and treatment services, as well as to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for distribution to local police departments.  The law also establishes an advisory committee that will review these research findings and make recommendations to the legislature and Department for changes to the law and regulations.

Who We Are

Cannabis Law PA is a Harrisburg law firm committed to providing effective and comprehensive guidance to cannabis and cannabis-related businesses.  Located within walking distance of the Pennsylvania State Capitol and Pennsylvania Department of Health, Cannabis Law PA is perfectly positioned to help businesses wishing to enter the Pennsylvania medical marijuana industry or existing businesses impacted by it.

Please contact us for more information about how Cannabis Law PA can help your organization meet its goals while complying with Pennsylvania medical marijuana regulations. We look forward to speaking with you.


Cannabis Law PA attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and Maryland. Cannabis Law PA attorneys serve Ohio clients on a non-legal consulting basis. Cannabis Law PA does not provide legal advice to clients regarding Ohio law.