Yes. Cultivation of medical marijuana is allowed in Washington County. The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) issues grower/processor permits to enable the facility to cultivate and manufacture medical marijuana. Pursuant to the Medical Marijuana Act of 2016, the Medical Marijuana Program was established to provide patients, and caregivers access to medical marijuana.
Growers/processors are authorized to acquire and transport marijuana seed and immature plant material outside the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania within 30 days every year to grow and process medical marijuana. These facilities may also get their seed and plant materials from another licensed grower/processor.
Growers/processors must ensure they grow, store, harvest, or process medical marijuana in an enclosed, indoor, and secure facility, which includes electronic security and surveillance systems. The cultivation and manufacturing area must be located within the Commonwealth. The Department of Agriculture regulates what pesticides may be used by the grower/processor in their operations.
As of February 2023, recreational use and possession of cannabis are prohibited in Pennsylvania. Residents are not permitted to grow their own marijuana plants. Violators may face misdemeanor charges, jail time, and payment of fines.
Yes. Licensed growers/processors can manufacture medical marijuana in the state. However, the DOH issues up to 25 grower/processor permits only. The applicant must maintain effective control of and prevent the diversion of medical marijuana. Sec. 603 of the Act requires the applicant to implement and maintain security, tracking, recordkeeping, and surveillance systems regarding the manufacture, among others, of medical marijuana.
In the permit application, the grower/processor must provide the following information:
Ability to maintain proper security and control to prevent the diversion of medical marijuana, abuse, or any other illegal conduct
Compliance with the municipality zoning requirements
Established diversity plan
Proof that the applicant has $2,000,000 capital, where $500,000 of which is deposited in a trusted financial institution
Together with the application, the required fees must be paid:
$10,000 - Initial non-refundable fee
$200,000 - Permit fee (valid for one year) is refundable if the permit is not granted.
$10,000 - Renewal permit fee
A two-hour training session is required for those awarded a grower/processor permit.
Yes. Medical marijuana may be dispensed to patients and caregivers. Patients must have a certification from a physician and own a valid medical marijuana ID to purchase medical marijuana products. Caregivers must also present a valid ID issued by the DOH to buy cannabis products for their patients. A patient or caregiver shall have their ID whenever they are in possession of medical marijuana.
Dispensaries must have been issued with a permit to sell medical marijuana lawfully. Their facilities shall have a pharmacist or physician available in person or by synchronous interaction to verify patient certifications and consult with patients and caregivers at all times during their operating hours. No dispensary may dispense a quantity of medical cannabis more than what the physician has prescribed to the patient or a prohibited form of medical marijuana.
The allowed forms of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania are:
Topical forms, including gels, creams, or ointments
Forms medically appropriate for vaping or nebulizing.
It is unlawful for dispensaries to dispense medical marijuana in dry leaf or plant form unless otherwise provided in the Act. Moreover, it is illegal to smoke medical marijuana, mix medical marijuana into edible forms, and use marijuana edibles. However, the patient may incorporate the medical cannabis into edible only for ingestion.
Dispensing facilities may dispense medical marijuana in an indoor, enclosed, and secure facility found within the state. It shall maintain continuous video surveillance and retain the recordings onsite or offsite. Growers/processors and dispensaries may not operate on the same site. The dispensary shall not be located near (1,000 feet) the property line of a public, private, or parochial school or daycare center. Other than medical marijuana, they may sell medical devices and instruments useful to administer cannabis.
Yes. The DOH implemented a curbside delivery protocol where patients and caregivers can obtain medical marijuana. Patients with medical marijuana IDs can buy cannabis products from licensed dispensaries or through their caregivers. Caregivers are designated by patients to buy medical marijuana on their behalf. Persons who are 21 years old and submit a complete criminal history background check are eligible to be caregivers.
A medical marijuana ID allows patients to buy cannabis products prescribed by their physician. To obtain one, the patient must meet the following requirements:
Be a resident of Pennsylvania
Apply for the program through the Medical Marijuana Registry
Secure a certification from an approved physician that you are diagnosed with any of the qualifying medical conditions
Pay $50 for the medical marijuana ID fee.
Some of the medical conditions that would qualify a patient to obtain a medical marijuana ID are:
Sickle cell anemia
HIV / AIDS
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
See the full list of qualifying medical conditions here.
Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program
Call center hours of operation: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM ET
While Section 202 of the Tax Reform Code of 1971 imposes a 6% sales tax on the purchase price upon each separate sale of tangible personal property and services, the Code does not impose taxes on the sale of medical marijuana to consumers in Pennsylvania.
As for the sale of medical marijuana from growers/processors to dispensaries, a rate of 5% excise tax on the gross receipts is collected. Proceeds collected from the tax collection are deposited into the Medical Marijuana Program Fund, operated under the State Treasury. A portion of the proceeds is used to fund the programs and projects of the DOH. Other fees and taxes required under the Medical Marijuana Act are deposited into the fund.
In 2022, a financial article estimated the potential excise tax revenue that Pennsylvania could generate if the recreational marijuana market were legal. For a period of three years, the state could be collecting nearly $245 million.
The Medical Marijuana Act was effective in 2016, but it was in 2018 that dispensaries were able to sell cannabis products to patients and caregivers lawfully. As of February 2023, recreational use and possession of marijuana are illegal.
According to the FBI Crime Data Explorer, the Washington County Sheriff's Office reported one arrest for the illegal possession of marijuana in 2016 and two in 2017. The latest data available was in 2020 when only one arrest was recorded.
From 2016 to 2020, no apprehension was made by the police authorities for the illegal sale/manufacturing of marijuana. Data on the arrests for driving under the influence were only present in 2018 and 2020, with 7 and 3 arrests made, respectively.