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

Is Cannabis Cultivation Legal in Westmoreland County?

Yes, it is legal to grow cannabis in Westmoreland County. Senate Bill 3 legalized medical cannabis in Pennsylvania in April 2016. However, the recreational use of cannabis is still illegal in the state.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is the governing body that issues permits for not more than 25 growers/processors. The application process requires at least the following:

  • Apply and obtain a permit before growing/processing medical marijuana

  • Provide information about your application, provide a diversity plan, and evidence of compliance with community zoning regulations

  • Submit a permit application for a non-refundable initial fee of $10,000, a permit fee of $200,000 (refundable if the permit is not approved), and proof of capital of $2 million

Under Pennsylvania Code, Title 28, Section 1151.23, a cultivator or processor may store, grow, harvest, or process seeds, medical marijuana plants (immature and mature), medical marijuana products, or medical marijuana indoors. The facility must have a gated and enclosed area separate from the public, especially for the loading and unloading of medical marijuana. Furthermore, cultivators cannot employ anyone under the age of 18 in their cannabis business. They must install systems to monitor, record, and regulate temperature, ventilation, humidity, lighting, and water supply.

The cultivators with approved permits are required to complete a two-hour training course. Also, the department can regulate additional requirements through temporary regulations.

Is Cannabis Manufacturing Legal in Westmoreland County?

Yes. The application steps for medical cannabis cultivators and manufacturers are the same. The manufacturers shall provide the Pennsylvania Department of Health with an estimate of the volume and form of medical marijuana products it will produce within the first six months after the department approves the business operations. If the forecasted quantity is likely to increase or decrease, the manufacturer must promptly notify the department in writing within six months thereafter.

Pennsylvania Code Section 1151.28 states that manufacturers may only process medical marijuana supplied to patients/caregivers in the following forms: pill, oil, liquid, tincture, topical forms such as creams, ointments, and gels, and medically acceptable forms for administration by nebulization or vaporization.

Processors/manufacturers may not produce, manufacture, or assemble medical marijuana products and devices without prior departmental approval.

Is Cannabis Retail Legal in Westmoreland County?

Yes, retail of medical cannabis is allowed in Westmoreland County. The department issues retail licenses for not more than 50 dispensaries in the state of Pennsylvania. Each dispensary cannot have more than three separate locations. The application process for retail dispensaries requires applicants to:

  • Apply and obtain a permit before dispensing medical marijuana

  • Provide an application form that includes a description of your business organization and activities, your ability to maintain effective security and a diversity plan, and your ability to demonstrate compliance with community zoning regulations

  • Submit a permit application that includes a $5,000 non-refundable initial fee, a $30,000 permit fee (refundable if the permit is not approved), and $150,000 proof of capital

Licensed dispensaries are required to complete a two-hour training course. In addition, the department can regulate many other requirements through transitional regulations.

Patients must be residents of Pennsylvania and have a serious medical condition approved by a licensed physician enrolled in the medical marijuana program. Patients under the age of 18 with serious medical conditions can obtain medical marijuana through registered caregivers.

Before dispensing medical marijuana to patients or caregivers, the dispensary must:

  • Verify the validity of the patient/caregiver ID card using the program's electronic tracking system

  • Access the Department of Health database using the electronic tracking system to verify patient information and up-to-date certification

  • Prepare transaction receipts and endorse the receipts via electronic tracking systems

  • Give the patient/caregiver a copy of the transaction receipt

Available cannabis products in Pennsylvania are oils, pills, creams, ointments, tinctures, gels, and liquids.

Is Cannabis Delivery Legal in Westmoreland County?

Delivery of medical marijuana to residential addresses in Westmoreland County is not allowed. Under Pennsylvania Code Section 1161.35, dispensaries may only transport and deliver medical marijuana to medical marijuana organizations between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. for the purpose of delivering medical marijuana between licensed dispensaries and returning medical marijuana to cultivators and manufacturers. Licensed dispensaries are not permitted to transport medical marijuana to out-of-state locations.

How to Get Medical Marijuana Card in Westmoreland County

A serious medical condition, as defined by Pennsylvania law, is any of the following:

  • Terminal illness

  • Crohn's disease

  • Cancer, including remission therapy

  • Anxiety disorders

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  • Epilepsy

  • Nervous tissue damage with neurological indication/s of intractable spasticity and associated neuropathies

  • HIV / AIDS

  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders

  • Autism

  • Glaucoma

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

  • Huntington's disease

  • Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Intractable seizures

  • Neuropathies

  • Neurodegenerative diseases

  • Tourette syndrome

  • Severe, chronic or intractable pain due to neuropathy

  • Sickle cell anemia

  • Parkinson's disease

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

To participate in the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program and obtain a medical marijuana ID card, you must:

  • Apply on the website

  • To know if your registration has been successfully completed, the website will provide you with your patient ID number and an email confirming your registration success and the next steps

  • Talk to a certifying physician to verify your health condition

  • Pay for medical marijuana ID card

  • Visit any Pennsylvania dispensary with your medical marijuana ID card

Note that before visiting a licensed doctor, you must register online and obtain a patient ID number. The fee for a medical marijuana patient or caregiver ID card is $50. Individuals participating in the following government programs may qualify for a free medical marijuana ID card: PACE/PACENET, Medicaid, CHIP, WIC, and SNAP.

For more details about the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program, you may also contact or mail:

Pennsylvania Department of Health

Health & Welfare Building

625 Forster St., 6th Floor

Harrisburg, PA 17120

Phone: 888-733-5595

Email: RA-DHEPCS@pa.gov

How Has Cannabis Legalization Impacted the Economy of Westmoreland County?

Medicinal cannabis has generated more than $132 million in total annual sales since medical cannabis was first sold in 2017. In 2021, overall medical cannabis sales totaled approximately $2.6 billion, of which over $1.5 billion sales have been from the dispensaries to patients. In addition, a total of 31.2 million cannabis products were sold by cultivators, manufacturers, and dispensaries. The numbers show that Pennsylvania's cannabis industry contributes to economic prosperity.

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue announced that cultivators and manufacturers must pay a 5% excise tax on gross receipts from medical cannabis sales. There is no sales tax on medicinal cannabis.

The Effects of Cannabis Legalization on Crime Rates in Westmoreland County

DUI cases in Westmoreland County rose from 390 to 504 and 735 arrests in 2019, 2020, and 2021, respectively. This is according to the data released by the Pennsylvania State Police. Meanwhile, the number of drug offenses also increased during 2019, 2020, and 2021— from 261 cases to 601 and 647, respectively.

Medical cannabis was legalized in Pennsylvania in April 2016. However, the 2019 record from the state's crime database is the earliest data available.

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Pennsylvania Cannabis County Info