Laughlin and Street in a news release noted that the current law has many “inefficiencies” that are reflected in “mounting data” from the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board and the Pennsylvania Health Department.
The home-grow provision also stipulates that cultivation can only occur on residential property legally owned by the person growing it or with the permission of the property owner. Landlords, for example, could prohibit their tenants from cannabis cultivation.
State Sen. Dan Laughlin, of Millcreek, R-49th Dist., and state Sen. Sharif Street, of Philadelphia, D-3rd Dist., who earlier this year proposed legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis for recreational purposes, have again joined forces by proposing what will be known as the Medical Marijuana Home Cultivation Bill.
Some 633,557 patients and caregivers are registered under the state’s medical marijuana program and 367,925 people hold active patient certifications, or about 2.6% of the state’s population, according to Pennsylvania Health Department data presented to the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board in August.
“It’s obviously already been proven both in the United States and abroad that there are genuine medical conditions that can be effectively treated with this,” Laughlin told the Erie Times-News Friday. “There’s no disputing that anymore. For it not to be covered under anybody’s insurance, I think this is a reasonable step to try and help cover the cost of their medicine.”
Pennsylvania lawmakers approved the commonwealth’s medical marijuana program, Act 16, in 2016, but did not allow patients to grow cannabis at home.
A bipartisan duo of state senators wants to amend Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program to allow patients to grow the plant in their own homes.
In their statement, Laughlin and Street wrote that, “In some cases, patients have to travel more than two hours to reach a dispensary. And for many people with serious medical conditions — such as cancer patients and the terminally ill — medical expenses, a lack of insurance coverage for medical marijuana and a reduced ability to work make it difficult for individuals to afford dispensary-purchased medical marijuana.
Cultivation, the legislation states, must occur in an “enclosed, locked space” out of public view, that’s not accessible to an unauthorized person, including people under the age of 21. Medical marijuana dispensaries would sell seeds to patients for home cultivation. Neither the seeds, the plants nor the cultivated cannabis they produce could be sold or given to another person.
Cannabis flower is the most recent addition to the approved list and was previously unavailable. However, it is important to note that smoking a cannabis flower is still illegal. If a person wishes to use cannabis flower medicinally, he or she must consume it by vaporization.
Patients Who Qualify
You place of employment may also permit it under Pennsylvania law. However, it is not common for jobs to approve its consumption on their property. Taking your legally prescribed medicine in the wrong place could subject you to criminal charges.
These limits are strictly enforced. If you have more than the 30 day supply amount, the possession of that marijuana is illegal under Pennsylvania drug possession laws. Significant criminal penalties can be imposed as a result, even if you honestly were just using marijuana for medicinal purposes. Never try to go around the system to obtain more than you are permitted or prescribed.
The bill would allow medical marijuana patients in Pennsylvania to grow a limited number of cannabis plants at their homes for personal use.
According to a news release from the Senators, in some cases, patients have to travel more than two hours to go to a dispensary. And for many people with serious medical conditions – such as cancer patients and the terminally ill – medical expenses, a lack of insurance coverage for medical marijuana and a reduced ability to work make it difficult for individuals to afford dispensary-purchased medical marijuana.
The bill is expected to help with the long-time problem of cost and accessibility for patients.