Cannabis cultivation exclusively for medical use in Beaver County is legal by virtue of the State of Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act in 2016. The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program is implemented by the state’s Department of Health (DOH).
A medical cannabis cultivation company in Beaver County is required to get a [medical cannabis grower’s permit](https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/programs/Medical Marijuana/Pages/Growers-Processors.aspx) from the DOH Medical Marijuana Program. The medical cannabis grower’s permits to be issued by the DOH throughout the state are limited to 25. After acquiring the permit, the licensed medical cannabis grower must pass a two-hour training session with the DOH.
Application requirements for the medical cannabis grower’s permit are as follows:
A non-refundable application fee of $10,000
A permit fee of $200,000 which is refundable if the permit is not granted
Proof of having $2 million as venture capital, with $500,000 deposited in a financial institution
Proof of compliance with the zoning regulations in the municipality where the medical cannabis growing facility will be located
Proof of having the capability to secure the medical cannabis growing facility against unauthorized activities
Presentation of a diversity plan
The Medical Marijuana Act and PA Code 1151.23 require that medical cannabis be grown, harvested, and stored indoors and that the entire licensed medical cannabis facility must be enclosed and secure. The security features must include electronic locks and non-stop recorded video surveillance, with footage retained for a minimum of 180 days. Entry must be restricted to authorized individuals and authorized guests must be escorted all the time. All activities related to medical cannabis, including its loading on and unloading from vehicles, must be hidden from the sight of the public.
Areas within the licensed medical cannabis cultivation facility must be clearly delineated into areas for growing, non-growing, and restricted entry, with each area having conspicuous signage. Lettering on signs must not be smaller than half an inch and signs must measure at least one foot by one foot.
Licensed medical cannabis cultivation facilities are only allowed to use pesticides registered by the State of Pennsylvania’s Department of Agriculture under the Pennsylvania Pesticide Control Act of 1973, and listed as allowed for medical cannabis cultivation.
All licensed medical cannabis facilities, including medical cannabis cultivation facilities, are required to have an electronic inventory tracking system that is updated daily and is connected to the DOH medical cannabis electronic inventory tracking database.
Cannabis product manufacturing in Beaver County is legal only for medical use under the Medical Marijuana Act of the State of Pennsylvania.
A medical cannabis manufacturing company in Beaver County is required to acquire a medical cannabis processor’s permit from the DOH Medical Marijuana Program. The medical cannabis processor’s permits to be issued statewide by the DOH are limited to 25.
The requirements for the application for medical cannabis processors’ permits are the same as those for medical cannabis growers’ permits. After obtaining the permit, the licensed medical cannabis manufacturer must also undergo a two-hour DOH training session.
The Medical Marijuana Act and PA Code 1151.23 have the same indoor requirement for medical cannabis manufacturing as for medical cannabis cultivation. All other requirements for security, restrictions on access, public visibility, signage, and electronic inventory tracking apply.
Cannabis retail in Beaver County is legal under the State of Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act only for medical cannabis and medical cannabis products sold by a licensed medical cannabis dispensary exclusively to medical cannabis cardholders.
A medical cannabis retail company in Beaver County is required to obtain a [medical cannabis dispensary permit](https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/programs/Medical Marijuana/Pages/Dispensaries.aspx) from the Medical Marijuana Program of the DOH. Only 50 medical cannabis dispensary permits will be issued by the DOH across the state. Each licensee will be allowed to set up three dispensary sites. All medical cannabis dispensary licensees must also pass through the two-hour training course of the DOH.
Application requirements for the medical cannabis dispensary permit are as follows:
A non-refundable application fee of $5,000
A permit fee of $30,000 which is refundable if the permit is not granted
Proof of having $150,000 in capital
Proof of compliance with the zoning regulations in the municipality where the medical cannabis dispensary will be located
Proof of having the capability to secure the medical cannabis dispensary against unauthorized activities
Presentation of a business plan
Presentation of a diversity plan
A licensed medical cannabis dispensary is only allowed to sell to each medical cannabis card-holding patient a 30-day supply of medical cannabis at a time, depending on the prescription issued by a licensed physician for the patient.
Licensed medical cannabis dispensaries are permitted to sell medical cannabis extracts, oils, tinctures, liquids, tablets, and ointments. They are allowed to sell vaporized medical cannabis products except for those on the [DOH list of forbidden products](https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/Documents/Programs/Medical Marijuana/DOH - Withdraw of Products Containing Additives Not Approved for Inhalation by the FDA.pdf) that contain additives not approved for inhalation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Also prohibited for sale are medical cannabis intended for smoking and edible medical cannabis products.
It is not legal even for licensed medical cannabis dispensaries to deliver medical cannabis and medical cannabis products to medical cannabis cardholders in Beaver County in accordance with the Medical Marijuana Act of the State of Pennsylvania. The Act specifies that medical cannabis can only be legally dispensed inside a licensed medical cannabis dispensary.
Beaver County residents who have any of the following medical conditions may apply for inclusion in the State of Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program and get a medical cannabis card according to the Medical Marijuana Act:
Any terminal illness
Sickle cell anemia
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Severe chronic pain
Central nervous system damage
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Cancer, even in remission
Opioid Use Disorder
Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
Inflammatory bowel disease
Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
The first step for the patient applicant is to register with the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program Registry online to be given a patient identification number (PIN). They must then find a listed medical practitioner DOH-approved for the medical cannabis program. Ten of them are in Beaver County.
The DOH-approved state-licensed physician will examine the applicant to determine the diagnosis. The physician will then certify the patient on the online registry using the patient’s PIN. The physician will indicate in the certification if the patient requires a caregiver. Patients who are minors automatically require a caregiver. The patient must provide the physician with an email address to be posted on the registry. If a caregiver is needed, the caregiver’s email address must also be provided. If the doctor’s consultation is not covered by the patient’s health insurance, the patient must pay for it themselves.
The patient and caregiver will receive an email containing registration instructions, including how to pay the $50 fee. The fee is waived for beneficiaries of Medicaid, SNAP, WIC, and PACE/PACENET. Patients and caregivers must provide proof of residency in the State of Pennsylvania. Caregivers will have to undergo a background check as part of the application process. The approved medical cannabis card will be mailed to the patient and caregiver, respectively, about 14 days after payment.
Queries may be made at:
Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program
7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time, seven days a week excluding state holidays
The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue states that there is no sales tax on medical cannabis but licensed medical cannabis growers and processors must pay a 5% gross receipts tax on all their sales of medical cannabis and medical cannabis products to licensed medical cannabis dispensaries. Additionally, all types of licensed medical cannabis companies must pay the usual taxes appropriate to their business, such as the corporate net income tax, other gross receipts taxes, personal income tax, and more.
The Medical Marijuana Act requires all revenues from taxes and medical cannabis business applications and licenses to be centralized in the Medical Marijuana Program Fund. That sum will be allocated as follows:
40% for the operations and outreach efforts of the Medical Marijuana Program
30% for the DOH research program on the possible expansion of the list of diseases for medical cannabis treatment
15% to subsidize those in financial need such as:
The provision of medical cannabis to indigent patients
The waiving or reduction of medical cannabis card fees for indigent patients and caregivers
The reimbursement of background check fees for indigent caregivers
10% to the prevention, counseling, and treatment efforts of the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs
5% to be distributed by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to local police departments, including those in Beaver County, for use in activities related to the Medical Marijuana Act
Medical cannabis was legalized in 2016 in Beaver County.
Data from the Beaver County Sheriff's Office on the FBI’s Crime Explorer page shows that in 2015, the year prior to medical cannabis legalization, there were two marijuana offense arrests, both for possession.
In 2017, which was the year after the legalization of medical cannabis, there were eight marijuana offense arrests, comprised of six arrests for possession and two arrests for sales or manufacturing.
In 2018, which is the latest available data, there was one marijuana offense arrest for possession.
There is no data on the number of DUI arrests in those years.