While medical marijuana is currently accessible to the people of Pennsylvania, there is one key aspect some people with medical marijuana cards are not able to access: edibles. This has become an increasingly pressing issue, as many people find it difficult to use other forms of medical marijuana and edibles are an effective and easy way for individuals to make use of prescribed cannabis. With a growing call from the public, Pennsylvania officials have finally addressed the issue—yet have been unable to provide a definitive answer.
1. Pennsylvania’s Stand on Medical Marijuana: No Edibles Allowed
The Keystone State has adopted a unique stance regarding the consumption of medical cannabis: Pennsylvania permits only the use of non-smokable forms of cannabis for medical purposes. No edibles, oils, tinctures, or pills are permitted, and smoking is prohibited under any circumstances.
This rule can be a major setback for people who use medical cannabis to treat their ailments. Many of those who use marijuana medicinally do so through edibles, topicals, tinctures, or oils as an alternative to smoking or vaping. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law does not accommodate for these delivery methods. All medical marijuana products must be in pill form and can only be administered orally or topically.
- Only non-smokable forms of cannabis are approved in Pennsylvania.
- No edibles, oils, tinctures, or pills are allowed.
- All medical marijuana products must be in pill form.
- Pills can only be administered orally or topically.
2. Hopes for Improved Access to Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania
Medical marijuana was legalized in Pennsylvania back in 2016, much to the excitement of those in the state hoping for greater access to pain management and therapeutic treatment. Since then, locals have been yearning for even better access to this life-changing medicine.
Pennsylvanians want more streamlined access to medical marijuana and the ability to purchase it from a wider variety of dispensaries. They call for the state to expand the selection of cannabis products to those with more effective healing properties. In addition, many are hopeful for a lower cost of these treatments. There is a clear longing for an easier application process for medical marijuana cards and an increase in places where the drug is considered legal.
- A wider selection of cannabis treatments and products.
- More cost-effective care.
- A quicker, easier application and approval process.
- More legal places to purchase and use medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.
3. What Patients Should Know: Edibles are Blocked in PA’s Medical Marijuana Dispensary System
Patients in Pennsylvania need to understand the nuances of the medical marijuana dispensary system in the state. If you are a medical marijuana patient in the state, here are three essential points to consider when it comes to edibles:
- Edibles are prohibited. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, edibles are strictly prohibited for sale in the medical marijuana dispensary system. This includes cannabis-infused foods, drinks, or even topical products like creams, ointments, and patches.
- You can still consume edibles. If you are looking to consume edibles, you can still purchase these products from outside sources such as a recreational marijuana dispensary or individual sellers. It is important to remember that these products may be of an inferior quality and consistency compared to those sold through a medical marijuana dispensary under stricter regulations.
- There may be a few exceptions. The Pennsylvania Department of Health has allowed the sale of “plant material medication delivery methods”, such as tinctures, capsules, and tablets. These products are not technically considered edibles, and some may provide the same benefits as edibles. In addition, some medical marijuana dispensaries may also sell beverage additives, such as teas and drinks that contain some degree of cannabinoid extract.
Although edibles are not available through the medical marijuana dispensary system in Pennsylvania, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options. Whether you actively seek out alternate sources or explore the few exceptions to the system, there are still plenty of ways to consume medical marijuana in the state.
4. Searching For a Solution: When Will Edibles Become Available in Pennsylvania?
Edibles are a popular type of cannabis product, and many consumers in Pennsylvania are eagerly awaiting their arrival. Despite the state legalizing medical marijuana in 2016, and recreational marijuana in 2018, edibles are still not available to consumers. Pennsylvania lawmakers are still working towards a solution, and this article will explore when edibles might become available to purchase.
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) has the authority to regulate the sale of recreational marijuana, as well as edible products. In order for edibles to become available, PLCB needs to establish and pass regulations allowing the sale of edibles. Establishing regulations is a lengthy process and can include:
- Developing a testing process and standards for edible products
- Creating regulations that ensure edible products are clearly labeled and labeled with the necessary warnings
- Developing packaging requirements
The PLCB is still in the process of establishing these regulations and is likely months away from completing the work. The PLCB is also revisiting the issue of how much THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, can be in a single dose of an edible product. Currently, the proposed limit is 10mg, but the PLCB may raise or lower this limit. Once the PLCB finishes the regulation process, it will be up to cannabis producers to create marijuana edibles in accordance to the regulations.
It looks like edibles will remain off-limits in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program for now, but don’t count out the possibility of experiencing the culinary pleasure of medical marijuana edibles in the future. In the meantime, Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana patients can find solace in knowing that even without edibles to enjoy, they are making great strides in the effort to transform the state’s medical marijuana program into a reliable and safe medicine source.