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Pennsylvania Expands Medical Cannabis Regulations

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Jul 01, 2021   
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Medical cannabis patients in the US state of Pennsylvania can now buy three months’ worth of their medication at a time, rather than one month’s worth, thanks to the passing of a new bill that expands the state’s legal cannabis sector.

Signed by Governor Tom Wolf on Wednesday, June 30, the bill also permits cannabis companies to remediate their products by extracting them into a topical form should they be contaminated with yeast or mold.

Speaking to the Associated Press on the new remediation provision, Representative Paul Schemel, the bill’s prime sponsor, commented that “growers are saying, ‘We have adequate supply, we have a way to safely remediate it.’ This simply gives them a mechanism by which they can do that.”

Microbial remediation via extraction is also permitted in states such as Colorado. While readily available and effective, some industry experts have criticized the method for being time-consuming and restricting the consumer/retailer to a concentrate product instead of the intended flower product. Other possible remediation methods include microwave radiation, ozone treatment, and UV light exposure.

The new Pennsylvania bill also permanently allows curbside dispensing – a provision included in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The list of qualifying medical conditions for a medical cannabis prescription has also been extended to include cancer remission therapy, an HIV positive status, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.

A new medical marijuana research program will also be established to study how patients respond to the drug.

“It’s been five years since Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana, and in that time the Department of Health has examined the program’s successes and challenges and made important recommendations on improving the law,” Governor Wolf said in a statement.

“This legislation provides important updates to our state’s medical marijuana program to ensure that patients have improved access to medication.”


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