Luzerne County Cannabis – Is It Legal & Where To Buy 2024

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Luzerne County?

Yes, cannabis cultivation is permitted in Luzerne County. In April 2016, Senate Bill 3 legalized medicinal marijuana in the State of Pennsylvania. Cannabis use for recreational purposes is prohibited until today.

The regulating agency responsible for issuing licenses to no more than 25 growers/processors is the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The following are the requirements for the application process:

  • Before cultivating or processing medical marijuana, submit an application and get a license.

  • Give details about your application, a diversity plan, and proof that you've complied with community zoning laws.

  • Apply for a permit with a non-refundable starting fee of $10,000, a permit fee of $200,000 (refunded if the permission is rejected), and $2 million in capital as proof of your financial stability.

A cultivator or processor may grow, harvest, store, or process seeds, medical marijuana products, medical marijuana plants (either immature or mature), or medical marijuana indoors. This is in accordance with Pennsylvania Code, Title 28, Section 1151.23. The facility must have a gated and enclosed space distinct from the public, particularly for the loading and unloading of medicinal marijuana. Additionally, cultivators are prohibited from hiring anyone under the age of 18 for their cannabis business. Systems for controlling temperature, ventilation, lighting, humidity, and water supply must also be installed. A two-hour training program must be finished by cultivators with valid permits. The department may also impose temporary regulations and additional requirements.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Luzerne County?

Yes, cannabis manufacturing is allowed in Luzerne County. Both cultivators and manufacturers of medical cannabis must follow the same procedures for applying. Within the first six months following the Pennsylvania Department of Health's approval of the business operations, the manufacturers must give the department an estimate of the quantity and type of medical marijuana products they expect to produce. The manufacturer must quickly notify the department in writing within six months if the anticipated amount is likely to decrease or increase.

Manufacturers are only permitted to prepare medical marijuana that is given to patients or caregivers in the following forms: pills, oils, lotions, ointments, liquids, tinctures, gels, and medically approved forms for nebulization or vaporization, according to Pennsylvania Code Section 1151.28. Processors/manufacturers are not permitted to produce, make, or assemble medical marijuana items and devices without departmental approval.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Luzerne County?

Yes, Luzerne County allows the retail sale of medical marijuana. In Pennsylvania, the department offers retail permits for a maximum of 50 dispensaries. There can be a maximum of three dispensary locations per company. In order to apply for a retail dispensary, candidates must follow these guidelines:

  • Before dispensing medical marijuana, submit an application and get a license.

  • Send in an application that details your company's structure and operations, your capacity to uphold effective security and a diversity plan, and your capacity to demonstrate compliance with local zoning laws.

  • Send in a permit application with a $5,000 initial fee that is non-refundable, a $30,000 permit cost that is refundable if the permit is rejected, and a $150,000 proof of capital.

Once the license is approved, a two-hour training session must be completed by the dispensary. The department also has the authority to enforce numerous other requirements through interim regulations.

Meanwhile, patients enrolled in the medicinal marijuana program must be Pennsylvania residents and have a serious medical condition that has been certified by a qualifying doctor. Medical marijuana can be obtained by minors with significant medical conditions through their registered caregivers. The cannabis forms that are legal in Pennsylvania include oils, ointments, tinctures, capsules, lotions, gels, and liquids. As per Pennsylvania Code Section 1151.28, edibles are not included in the allowed forms of medical marijuana for retail sale.

The dispensary must follow these steps before providing patients or caregivers with medical marijuana:

  • Confirm the patient/caregiver ID card's validity using the program's computerized tracking system

  • Utilize the computerized tracking system to access the Department of Health database and confirm patient data and current certification

  • Create transaction receipts, then electronically sign them using tracking systems

  • Give a copy of the transaction receipt to the patient or caregiver

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Luzerne County?

In Luzerne County, medical marijuana cannot be delivered to residential residences. Dispensaries may only transport and deliver medical marijuana to medical marijuana organizations between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Under Pennsylvania Code Section 1161.35, the delivery of medical marijuana between authorized dispensaries and the return of medical marijuana to cultivators and manufacturers is allowed. Medical marijuana cannot be delivered from licensed dispensaries to areas outside of the state.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Luzerne County

You must meet the following requirements in order to enroll in the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program and receive a medical marijuana ID card:

  • Use the website to apply

  • The website will provide you with your patient ID number and an email verifying your registration success and the following steps if it has been successfully completed.

  • To confirm your medical condition, consult a certifying physician.

  • Pay for an ID card for medical marijuana.

  • Present your medical marijuana ID card when you visit any dispensary in Pennsylvania.

You should be aware that you must register online and get a patient ID number before seeing a licensed doctor. A patient or caregiver ID card for medical marijuana costs $50. Free medical marijuana ID cards may be available to people enrolled in the government programs CHIP, WIC, PACE/PACENET, Medicaid, and SNAP.

As defined by Pennsylvania law, a serious medical condition is any of the following:

  • Autism

  • Glaucoma

  • Terminal illness

  • Crohn's disease

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

  • Epilepsy

  • Cancer, including remission therapy

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders

  • Nervous tissue damage

  • HIV / AIDS

  • Opioid use disorders for which therapeutic intervention is contraindicated or ineffective

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Huntington's disease

  • Intractable seizures

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Diseases involving opioid consumption for which therapeutic intervention is ineffective

  • Neuropathies

  • Neurodegenerative diseases

  • Tourette syndrome

  • Severe, ongoing, or uncontrollable pain brought on by neuropathy

  • Sickle cell anemia

  • Parkinson's disease

For more information about the medical marijuana program, you may reach out:

Pennsylvania Department of Health

Health & Welfare Building

625 Forster St., 6th Floor

Harrisburg, PA 17120

Phone: 888-733-5595


How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Luzerne County?

Since medical cannabis was sold in 2017, its total annual revenue has increased to about $132 million. In 2021, the total global sales of medical marijuana were approximately $2.6 billion, of which more than $1.5 billion in sales were from dispensaries to patients. Additionally, cultivators, producers, and dispensaries collectively sold 31.2 million cannabis products. The data demonstrate the positive economic impact of Pennsylvania's cannabis business.

Furthermore, a 5% excise tax on the gross revenue from medical cannabis sales was mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue for cultivators and manufacturers. Cannabis for medical use is not subject to sales tax.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Luzerne County

DUI cases in Luzerne County varied from 457 to 352 and 497 arrests in 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively. This is supported by information made available by the Pennsylvania State Police. Meanwhile, the number of drug offenses also varied during 2019, 2020, and 2021— from 554 cases to 774 and 677, respectively.

Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana in 2016. The earliest data, however, comes from the state's crime database and dates from 2019.

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