Pennsylvania Marijuana Distribution Laws

What Is Possession With Intent To Distribute Marijuana in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, the possession of any amount of marijuana is a criminal offense unless the individual possesses a valid medical marijuana identification card. If you do not possess a medical marijuana card and only have small amounts (less than 30 grams) of the substance on you, the state will likely deem it a simple marijuana possession offense. However, if you are found in possession of large quantities of marijuana, and there are circumstances suggesting that you intend to deliver, sell, or distribute it to another person without a State Board license, you will be charged with marijuana possession with intent to distribute.

In order for the state to prove that you possess marijuana with the intent to distribute, the prosecutor must prove that:

  • You knowingly and intentionally had control of the marijuana found in your possession
  • You were in active or constructive possession of the substance. That is, you had the drug on your person, such as in your pocket or in a location that you controlled, such as the trunk of your vehicle or under your bed
  • You knew the substance was illegal

Circumstances such as the presence of measuring scales, multiple packs of marijuana, communication involving marijuana sales, and large sums of cash may be used by the prosecutor to prove possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Can You Enter a Dispensary at 18 in Pennsylvania?

Only medical marijuana patients aged 18 or older can enter medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania. There are currently no approved recreational marijuana dispensaries in the state; hence you cannot legally buy adult-use marijuana.

Can You Enter a Dispensary Without a Card in Pennsylvania?

Only medical marijuana patients can enter marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania. Before entry, patients will be required to provide their medical marijuana identification cards and valid state-issued identification cards, such as driver's licenses. Dispensaries have security personnel tasked with ensuring visitors have the required cards before entering the facilities.

What Are the Penalties for Possession With Intent To Distribute First Offense in Pennsylvania?

The criminal charge of marijuana possession with intent to distribute (PWID) is a severe offense in Pennsylvania. The quantity of marijuana found on you may determine whether you will be charged with drug possession or PWID.

Pursuant to Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, marijuana possession with intent to distribute less than 30 grams of the substance without any form of compensation is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days imprisonment and $500 in fines. If you intend to distribute more than 30 grams of marijuana, it is a felony punishable by a maximum 5-year imprisonment and $15,000 in fines. Note that delivery or distribution of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school or 250 feet of a recreational playground is punishable by 2-4 years imprisonment. If you are charged with marijuana with intent to distribute the substance to a minor, it is deemed a felony which attracts double the potential penalties upon conviction.

For a first offense of PWID, your license will be suspended for six months. You will have a criminal record, which may hinder your ability to get a decent job, join the military, obtain specific professional licenses, or gain admission to graduate school. Additionally, you may not qualify for a government-subsidized student loan. If you share custody of your children, a drug conviction may jeopardize your parental agreement and cause you to lose certain visitation privileges.

Federally, possessing up to 50 kg of marijuana with the intent to distribute is punishable by up to five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. According to Section 841 of the US Constitution, possessing 50 to 99 kg of marijuana with the intent to distribute is punishable by up to 20 years in jail and a $1 million fine. While intent to distribute between 100 and 999 kg attracts a maximum 40-year prison sentence and a $5,000,000 fine. If you are convicted of possessing over 1,000 kg of marijuana with the intent to distribute it, you risk being penalized with a $10,000 fine and life imprisonment.

Is It Legal To Sell Weed in Pennsylvania?

No. It is illegal to sell weed in Pennsylvania. Currently, only medical marijuana may be sold in the state by persons or entities that have obtained the appropriate licenses to carry out such an activity. You may be charged with drug trafficking or possession with intent to sell which is a felony attracting severe penalties. If you intend to exchange marijuana for remuneration or any item of value, the state may charge you with marijuana possession with intent to distribute or drug trafficking.

How To Sell to Dispensaries in Pennsylvania?

You can only sell medical marijuana to dispensaries, as recreational marijuana has not been legalized in the state. In order to sell marijuana to medical marijuana dispensaries, you must obtain a grower/processor license from the Pennsylvania Department of Health. To get a medical marijuana grower/processor license, you must complete background checks, comply with state and local requirements, and submit an application to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

How To Get a Distribution License in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania does not issue a cannabis distribution license. Marijuana business licenses are only issued under the state's medical marijuana program. The grower/processor license issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) permits the licensees to transport marijuana to retail outlets. In order to obtain a cannabis license from the PADOH, review the resources for growers and processors on the PADOH website.

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