What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Card in Pennsylvania (2024)

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How Many Medical Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Treatment in Pennsylvania?

The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program identifies 23 medical conditions as qualifying for medical marijuana treatment in the state.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Card in Pennsylvania 2024

To be eligible for a medical marijuana ID card in Pennsylvania, a patient must be diagnosed with one or more of these qualifying medical conditions:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism
  • Cancer, including remission therapy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system (brain-spinal cord) causing intractable spasticity and other associated neuropathies
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intractable seizures
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuropathies
  • Opioid use disorder when conventional treatments are ineffective or contraindicated or when medical cannabis therapy is recommended as adjunctive therapy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain whether caused by neuropathies or not
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette syndrome

Does Pennsylvania Add New Qualifying Conditions to its Medical Marijuana Program?

Yes. Pennsylvania has expanded its list of qualifying conditions since the inception of its medical marijuana program. Its medical cannabis law created the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board to review petitions for the addition of new qualifying medical conditions for medical cannabis therapy. This petition system was instituted in late 2018 when the total number of qualifying conditions in the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program was 21. In 2019, the state’s Department of Health added Tourette’s syndrome and anxiety disorders to the list of qualifying medical conditions for cannabis treatments. On March 22, 2022, the Advisory Board recommended the addition of chronic hepatitis to the state’s medical marijuana program.

Does Pennsylvania Allow Physicians to Recommend Medical Cannabis for Non-Qualifying Conditions?

No. Medical providers can only recommend medical marijuana for conditions listed on the state’s list of qualifying medical conditions for medical cannabis treatments. A patient or provider who wants to use or recommend medical marijuana for a non-qualifying condition must submit a petition to the Advisory Board to consider adding this condition to the list.

Do You Need a Doctor’s Recommendation for Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania?

Yes. After registering in the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Registry, patients applying to join the state’s medical cannabis program must obtain a certification from an approved physician confirming a diagnosis of at least one of the qualifying medical conditions. The Pennsylvania Department of Health publishes a list of approved medical practitioners who are participating in the state’s medical marijuana program and eligible to recommend medical marijuana treatments.

Pennsylvania requires the doctor recommending a patient for medical marijuana to be responsible for the continuing care of the patient for the qualifying debilitating condition. The state also mandates that the recommending physician for a minor be Board-certified in:

  • Pediatrics or a pediatric specialty
  • Neurology with special qualifications in child neurology
  • Child and adolescent psychiatry, or
  • Adolescent medicine (whether through pediatrics, internal medicine or family practice)

Who Qualifies for a Medical Marijuana Card in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania issues medical marijuana cards to both adults and minors as long as they are diagnosed with qualifying conditions and provide recommendations from eligible physicians. The state, however, requires medical marijuana cardholders to be residents of the Commonwealth.

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