It is legal to cultivate cannabis in Cumberland County but for medical use only as stipulated by Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act of 2016. Companies are required to apply for a medical marijuana grower license with the Medical Marijuana Program of the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) in order to lawfully grow medical cannabis. Only 25 cultivation licenses will be issued throughout the state. Licensees must next complete a two-hour training course.
The following requirements must be submitted by medical marijuana grower license applicants:
Proof of conformity with local zoning rules
Proof of capacity to secure the growing facility from unlawful access and conduct
Validated capital totaling $2 million, $500,000 of which is deposited in a bank
Non-refundable $10,000 application fee
$200,000 license fee, which will be returned if the application is not approved
All medical marijuana must be cultivated indoors in the registered premises of the licensed medical cannabis growing facility, according to PA Code 1151.23. A licensed facility may cultivate, harvest, and warehouse mature and young cannabis plants, as well as marijuana flowers and seeds. All activities related to cannabis, like the loading and unloading of medical marijuana from trucks, for example, should be done always out of public view.
High-level security is required for the entire facility. Entry must be restricted to those with permission and each guest must be accompanied at all times. Access-restricted areas and those utilized for planting must be properly designated with signs. Signage must be no smaller than 12 inches by 12 inches with lettering that is at least six inches tall.
It is legal to manufacture cannabis in Cumberland County but this is restricted to cannabis products for medical use according to the Medical Marijuana Act of 2016 of Pennsylvania. Businesses must apply for a medical cannabis processor license with the DOH's Medical Marijuana Program in order to lawfully manufacture medical cannabis. Only 25 manufacturer licenses will be issued across the state.
Medical cannabis processor license applicants must meet the same criteria as medical marijuana cultivation license applicants. License recipients are required to complete a two-hour training class.
Every licensed medicinal cannabis manufacturing facility must be indoors, as required by PA Code 1151.23. It is prohibited for the public to be able to view any activity related to cannabis, even its loading and unloading from vehicles.
Medical cannabis manufacturing licensees are accountable for ensuring the tightest level of security for their facility. Access to specific locations within the premises must be managed, and entry should be limited to persons with authorization. Signage identifying processing and non-processing sections, as well as areas of the building requiring the greatest level of security, must be clearly placed. Signs must be 12 inches by 12 inches in dimension at the minimum, with letters no smaller than six inches high. When guests are admitted, they must always be escorted.
It is legal to sell cannabis by retail in Cumberland County but only for medical marijuana sold to medical marijuana cardholders as stipulated by the Medical Marijuana Act of 2016 of Pennsylvania.
Companies must seek a medical cannabis dispensary license through the DOH's Medical Marijuana Program in order to lawfully sell medical cannabis. Only 50 dispensary licenses will be issued across the state, with each one permitted to open a maximum of three outlets. A two-hour training course is required for licensed retailers.
The following requirements must be submitted by medical marijuana dispensary license applicants:
Proof of conformity with municipal zoning regulations
Proof of capacity to safeguard the manufacturing site from illicit activities and unlawful access
Substantiated total capital of $150,000
Non-refundable $5,000 application fee
$30,000 licensing fee, to be reimbursed if the application is declined
Licensed medical cannabis dispensaries are authorized to dispense medical marijuana and medical marijuana products such as oils, liquids, extracts, tinctures, pills, and topical salves. They may also provide vaporized medical cannabis or medical marijuana meant for vaporization, except for the 600 vaporized marijuana products included on the DOH list of prohibited products. The compounds detected in those restricted goods were not approved for human inhalation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Medical marijuana in edible form and those meant for smoking are also prohibited for sale in licensed dispensaries.
According to the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act of 2016, licensed dispensaries are permitted to dispense only a 30-day supply of medical marijuana every 30 days to each medical marijuana cardholder, based on the prescription of the patient. The dispensary is in charge of tracking and verifying the patient's purchases via the online registry.
In response to the Covid pandemic, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency on March 6, 2020. As a result, the DOH temporarily amended the Medical Marijuana Program. The adjustment had to be extended [up to November 20, 2021](https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/Documents/Programs/Medical Marijuana/Extension of Medical Marijuana Temporary Regulations Notice - April 2, 2020.pdf). During that time, holders of medical marijuana cards were able to buy up to a 90-day supply of their medical marijuana prescriptions from licensed dispensaries. The cardholder's certifying authority, however, had to first be annotated by a medical expert approved by the state.
It is not legal to deliver even medical cannabis to medical marijuana cardholders in Cumberland County because the Medical Marijuana Act of 2016 states that the only lawful way of dispensing medical cannabis is within the indoor premises of licensed medical cannabis dispensaries.
Curbside dispensing of medical cannabis was permitted only from March 6, 2020, to November 20, 2021, while the Medical Marijuana Program was undergoing interim adjustments. Medical marijuana cardholders were required to wait in automobiles parked inside the licensed dispensary's premises, and dispensary staff brought out their medical marijuana prescriptions to them.
To apply for a medical marijuana card, Cumberland County residents must first go through an online registration process to obtain a patient identification number (PIN). After this, they must schedule a checkup with a DOH-approved medical practitioner. Cumberland County is home to 32 of the medical practitioners on the list. The applicant is responsible for the costs unless they are covered by health insurance.
The medical practitioner will assess whether the applicant qualifies for the Medical Marijuana Program based on any of the following medical conditions:
Sickle Cell Anemia
Severe Chronic Pain
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Opioid Use Disorder
Inflammatory bowel disease
Intractable skeletal muscular spasticity
Dyskinetic and Spastic Movement Disorders
Cancer, including those in remission
Central Nervous System Damage
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
The physician will certify the condition in the online registry using the patient's PIN. The physician must also advise whether the patient requires assistance from a caregiver. Every patient is permitted a maximum of two caregivers. Before the caregivers' registration is accepted, the Medical Marijuana Program will undertake background checks.
If the application is approved, the patient will subsequently receive an email with payment instructions for the $50 application fee. Beneficiaries of the following programs may be exempt from this fee:
Prescription assistance through PACE/PACENET
Pennsylvania Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Medicaid
Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
The medical marijuana card will be mailed to qualifying patients in roughly two weeks.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, medical cannabis is exempt from sales tax. On the other hand, a 5% excise tax is imposed on all medicinal cannabis sales to licensed dispensaries by licensed cultivators and processors. All businesses that are marijuana-related must also pay the same taxes that other businesses are required to pay depending on their business models and operations. These include, for instance, the corporation net income tax, gross receipts tax, personal income tax, and the like. The licensing payments that medical marijuana cultivators, manufacturers, and dispensaries submit to the DOH are another source of state revenue from cannabis enterprises.
In February 2018, medical marijuana became available for purchase. Sales climbed to $132 million after only one year. Growers and processors paid a total of $2 million in excise duty.
In Pennsylvania, the Medical Marijuana Act of 2016 requires that all proceeds from medical cannabis taxes and fees be directed to the Medical Marijuana Program Fund. The Medical Marijuana Program will get 55% of this money, with 40% allocated for operating expenses and outreach projects and 15% allocated to the following:
Offering free or significantly lower-priced medical cannabis to destitute patients;
Offering free or significantly lower-priced medical marijuana card costs for destitute patients and caregivers; and
Refunding the cost of background checks for destitute caregivers.
The medical marijuana research program of the DOH that seeks to identify more illnesses that can be treated with cannabis receives 30% of the money from medical marijuana. This may increase the number of conditions that could be eligible for the program.
From the remainder of the medical marijuana revenue, 10% is transferred to the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to be utilized for drug abuse prevention, counseling, and treatment programs. The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency distributes the remaining 5% of medicinal marijuana money to local police agencies, including those in Cumberland County, for any use permitted by the Medical Marijuana Act of 2016.
The legalization of medical cannabis in the state was in February 2018. According to information from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office on the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer page, in 2017 there were three arrests for marijuana possession. In 2018, the latest available data as of January 2023, there were two arrests for marijuana possession and one for marijuana manufacturing or sales.
In 2017, there was one DUI arrest. This increased to two in 2018.