All You Need to Know About the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program

Medical content reviewed by Dr. Shatha Atiya on March 9, 2024

Welcome to the best guide on the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program!

By the end of this page, you will have the answers to these questions:

  • What should I know about the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program?
  • How do I apply for a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card?
  • What are the PA medical marijuana card rules?

We have sourced all the information on this page from the official Pennsylvania Department of Health website. So, you can trust you are reading an accurate and up-to-date resource. Let’s get started.

How Hard is it to Get Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania?

Getting medical marijuana is easy in Pennsylvania. All you need is to register with the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program and receive a PA medical card to present to dispensaries and get medicinal cannabis.

After meeting these qualifications, you can get your certification online over a video call through Quick Med Cards. Then you can apply for your PA medical marijuana card online through the state registry.

To register with the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program, you must meet two requirements.

  • You must be a resident of Pennsylvania with a PA driver’s license or a state-issued ID card.
  • A PA cannabis doctor must certify you for MMJ.

It is also worth noting that the registration process is online. To register with the PA Medical Marijuana Program and apply for your medical marijuana card, follow the steps below.

1. Visit the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program Registry and create your account.

2. Next, create your account with Quick Med Cards to book an appointment with a cannabis doctor in Pennsylvania.

3. Quick Med Cards supports telemedicine appointments, so you can attend your evaluation over a video call.

4. After the consultation, the PA MMJ doctor will certify you for medical marijuana if you qualify.

5. Afterward, log into your PA Medical Marijuana Program Registry account and pay for your med card.

6. Finally, your PA medical marijuana card will arrive in the mail.

How to Renew Your Medical Marijuana Card in PA

Your PA med card and marijuana certification will be valid for one year from the issue date. So, to keep enjoying the benefits of medicinal cannabis, you must renew your PA medical marijuana card annually.

Usually, the program will notify you via email to begin the PA medical card renewal 60 days before your MMJ certification and med card expire. 

Did you use another provider to get your Pennsylvania medical card? No worries! You can still have a different physician renew your MMJ certification. And at Quick Med Cards, all our PA medical marijuana doctors are licensed and experienced in cannabis therapy.

Renewing your PA medical card is an online process, just like the initial application. Follow the steps below to begin the PA medical marijuana card renewal:

1. If you are a returning patient at Quick Med Cards, you can log into your account and schedule a follow-up appointment.

2. Alternatively, if you are a new patient, you must create a Quick Med Cards account to book an appointment.

3. Next, attend your consultation over video call and get certified for medical marijuana if you qualify.

4. Log into your PA Medical Marijuana Program Registry account and pay the annual renewal fee.

5. Receive your new PA medical marijuana card.

* Remember, you should keep using your old med card until the issue date of your new MMJ card.

How do I renew my PA medical card online?

Renewing your PA medical marijuana card online is a straightforward process that saves you time. Whether you’re a returning patient or a new applicant, Quick Med Cards makes the renewal application a breeze.

Start by logging into your account and scheduling an online consultation with one of our certified physicians. After approval, log into the PA Medical Marijuana Program Registry and pay the annual fee. Your new card will be issued and mailed to you later. Remember to keep using your old card until the issue date of your new one.

What happens if you lose your PA medical marijuana card?

You can request a replacement from your PA Medical Marijuana Program Registry account. Once you submit a replacement request, the program will deactivate your old card.

The first PA medical marijuana card replacement costs $25. Then the charge for ensuing replacements is $50.

How much is it to renew your medical marijuana card in PA?

It costs $50 annually to renew your medical marijuana card in PA.

However, you may be eligible for a no-cost PA med card if you participate in a government financial hardship program. Remember, besides renewing your card, you’ll also need to renew your MMJ certification. And the fees for a consultation and certification depend on your provider. So, if you are searching for the cheapest PA medical card renewal, Quick Med Cards has you covered. Our certification fees range from $45 to $149, so you can get the help you need at a price that won’t break the bank. Renewing your medical marijuana card in PA has never been easier, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Speak with Our Medical Marijuana Doctor Today

Same-day appointments available.

Does Pennsylvania Have a Medical Marijuana Program?

Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana through the Medical Marijuana Act on April 17, 2016. As a result, residents with severe medical conditions can seek relief through medicinal cannabis.

The Act also established the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program. Its purpose? To ease patient access to MMJ and regulate the medical cannabis market. The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) runs the program. And its primary goal is improving the lives of countless Pennsylvanians. 

The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program performs the following roles:

  • To issue medical cards to certified patients and approved caregivers.
  • To issue organizations with permits to grow, process, or dispense medicinal cannabis in the state.
  • To register healthcare professionals in Pennsylvania who can certify patients per the Act.

    The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program is more than just a government initiative. It symbolizes hope for countless patients struggling with debilitating conditions who are unable to get relief from traditional treatments. This program’s goal is to provide safe and effective quality cannabis products to patients. 

    The program has undergone extensive and much-needed enhancements to make this a reality. The Medical Marijuana Advisory Board and legislative changes, through Act 44 of 2021, have driven these changes.

    So, what are some notable improvements to the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program? 

    First, there were only 17 qualifying conditions back in 2016. Today, there are 24 qualifying conditions for a medical card in PA. 

    Additionally, dry leaf or raw cannabis for administration by vaporization is now an acceptable form of medical marijuana–a Board-initiated change in 2018. Initially, PA medical cardholders could only access pills, oils, topicals, tinctures, and liquids.

    The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program has come a long way since its start. Continuous growth and patient-centric initiatives have been the driving force behind its success. This program has increased access to medical marijuana for patients who need it the most. As the program continues to evolve, Pennsylvanians can only look forward to an even more robust and supportive cannabis program. The future is bright, and a supportive cannabis program is here to stay.

    PA Medical Marijuana Assistance Program (MMAP)

    The PA Medical Marijuana Assistance Program (MMAP) is a helping hand extended to patients who find themselves struggling with the costs of medical marijuana. 

    To ensure that financially vulnerable patients will not have to wait years to receive help, the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program rolled out the expansion of the assistance program in three phases:

    • Phase 1: waived annual med card fees for eligible patients registered in an existing Commonwealth financial hardship program. 
    • Phase 2: discontinued all background check fees for eligible caregivers.
    • Phase 3: distributes a $50 benefit monthly per qualified patient.

    So, what does it take to benefit from the PA Medical Marijuana Assistance Program?

    You must show financial hardship by providing verifiable proof that you take part in one of the state’s financial hardship programs. For example:

    • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
    • Medicaid
    • Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (PACE)
    • PACE Needs Enhancement Tier (PACENET)
    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
    • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

      How many patients are in the PA medical marijuana program?

      Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program has seen significant growth in its patient base since it began.

      According to the latest Program Update:

      • 440,949 patients
      • 9,203 caregivers
      • and 1,929 physicians registered with the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program as of March 1, 2024.

      How to Become a PA Medical Marijuana Caregiver

      Caregivers play a crucial role in the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program. These designated individuals act as authorized representatives, picking up medical marijuana from dispensaries on behalf of those unable to do so themselves.

      To participate as a caregiver in the PA Medical Marijuana Program, you must meet all the requirements. In a nutshell, you must be a resident of Pennsylvania aged at least 21. And most importantly, you must pass a criminal background check

      Find out more details on the PA caregiver requirements.

      Follow the instructions below to become a caregiver with the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program.

      1. Register your caregiver account on the PA Medical Marijuana Program Registry.

      2. Follow the instructions provided to complete a criminal history background check.

      3. If you pass the background check, you will receive an email confirming your approval.

      4. Finally, submit payment for your caregiver card and wait for its delivery.

      It is worth noting that becoming a caregiver may be a lengthy process owing to the criminal history background check. Usually, it may take four to six weeks after your fingerprint appointment before you get a response.

      What Are the Rules for Having a Medical Marijuana Card in Pennsylvania?

      Medical marijuana is legal in Pennsylvania, but like any legal substance, there are rules to follow. 

      As a medical marijuana patient in Pennsylvania, you can legally buy, use, and possess cannabis products. Still, it is necessary to remember that you are obligated to follow the PA medical marijuana rules. By abiding by the regulations, you avoid potential legal repercussions. And you avoid the risk of having your status as a marijuana patient in PA revoked. So, it’s essential to stay informed and up-to-date on the PA medical marijuana laws.

      Below are some rules set under the PA medical marijuana laws you should follow:

      • Growing marijuana is illegal even if you have a PA medical card.
      • Always have your PA medical card with you whenever you possess cannabis products.
      • You should leave your unused medical marijuana in its original packaging.
      • You should not perform employment duties at heights or confined spaces while under the influence of medicinal cannabis.
      • Your employer can bar you from performing tasks they may consider life-threatening if you are under the influence of medical marijuana.

        Recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania

        Recreational marijuana is still illegal in Pennsylvania. Despite whispers of legalization dating back to 2016, when medical marijuana was approved, progress has been slow. While several state lawmakers have introduced various legalization bills over the years – none have ever really gained traction in the legislature. For now, all we can do is wait and see. Perhaps, the looming federal legalization of marijuana may be the push legislators need to establish a regulated recreational cannabis market in the Keystone State.

        Can you smoke in public with a medical card in PA?

        Smoking medical marijuana in public is illegal, even if you have a PA medical card.

        Dry leaf or raw cannabis became available from Pennsylvania dispensaries in 2018. However, the Pennsylvania medical marijuana laws are particular in that patients should only consume flower cannabis through vaporization.

        Can you fail a drug test with a medical card PA?

        It is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you for being a certified medical marijuana patient in Pennsylvania.

        However, no law prevents your employer from taking action if you fail a drug test. Ultimately, you should avoid using medical marijuana in the workplace. Also, you should avoid working while under the influence of medical marijuana to be on the safe side. Finally, reviewing your employer’s drug testing policies is recommended.

        Can you own a gun with a medical card in PA?

        Unfortunately, the answer is no.

        Federal law prohibits the possession of firearms by individuals who use or are addicted to controlled substances, and marijuana falls under this category. Even if medical marijuana is legal in your state, federal gun laws consider you an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

        As a result, you cannot purchase, possess, or control firearms or ammunition in Pennsylvania. In the same vein, you cannot apply for, have, or renew a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearm (LTC) if you have a PA medical card.

        Pennsylvania Dispensaries

        Medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania have increased exponentially since the first MMJ sale in 2018. To date, 180 dispensaries have opened their doors to registered patients. Some popular dispensary options include: 

        • Ascend, 
        • Beyond Hello, 
        • RISE, 
        • Verilife, 
        • and Vytal Options. 

        These dispensaries offer a variety of strains and products to cater to the needs of medical marijuana patients in Pennsylvania.

        What to expect at a dispensary in PA?

        You will need your Pennsylvania medical marijuana card to buy products from dispensaries.

        After verification, a dispensary agent will guide you on the variety of cannabis products available and help you find the product that suits you. And you can speak with a medical practitioner from the dispensary if you need more advice or guidance.

        How much can you buy at a dispensary in PA?

        In Pennsylvania, medical marijuana patients can buy a maximum of a 90-day supply of MMJ at a dispensary.

        The PA medical marijuana laws do not specify this limit as an exact weight or quantity. As a result, the needs of individual patients and the supply available at each dispensary are determining factors. In short, the amount you can buy at a dispensary in PA is largely up to the discretion of the doctor who certifies you.

        Can I go to a dispensary before my card arrives in PA?

        No. You cannot buy medical marijuana from dispensaries in PA without your medical card.

        Once you receive your medical marijuana ID card, you can purchase medical marijuana at any dispensary in Pennsylvania. It is worth noting that some dispensaries may need you to make an appointment for your first visit.

        How many times can you visit a dispensary in PA?

        You can visit Pennsylvania dispensaries as many times as you need to as long as you don’t exceed the 90-day supply limit.

        Can I go to multiple dispensaries in one day in Pennsylvania?

        Pennsylvania currently has 175 active dispensary locations. And it is legal to visit as many dispensaries as you like.

        So, it is a great state to explore multiple dispensaries. While there’s no restriction on how many dispensaries you can visit in PA, you can only buy cannabis up to your 90-day supply limit. So, if you need to stock up on your prescription, you can shop around at different dispensaries to find the products that work best for you. Just remember to bring your PA medical marijuana card to each dispensary you visit.

        Key Highlights

        • Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana through the Medical Marijuana Act on April 17, 2016. Consequently, the act established the PA medical marijuana program.
        • A PA cannabis doctor must certify you for MMJ, and you must register with the PA medical marijuana program to get a medical card.
        • The PA medical card is valid for one year. You can renew your medical marijuana card 60 days before your current one expires.
        • Caregivers in Pennsylvania must be residents aged 21 and above. Also, caregivers must pass a criminal background check to be eligible.
        • The state fee for the Pennsylvania medical marijuana card is $50.

        Common Questions about the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program

        Do you still have questions about the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program? You might find the answer below.

        Can I get my PA medical card online?

        Getting your PA medical card has never been easier. And you can complete the application from the comfort of your home because it is online.

        Start by creating your patient account on the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program registry. Then, register with Quick Med Cards and book an appointment with a licensed PA cannabis doctor. During your consultation, you’ll attend a quick video call where you’ll get evaluated for cannabis. If the doctor approves, they’ll certify you. Next, log into your PA Medical Marijuana Registry and pay for your med card. After payment, wait for your medical card to arrive in the mail. It’s that quick and easy!

        How much is the PA medical marijuana fee?

        The PA medical marijuana fee for a patient or caregiver ID card is $50.

        However, participants of financial hardship government programs may qualify for a no-cost ID card. To clarify, the fee paid to the government does not cover the cost of a consultation and certification from a PA cannabis doctor. Are you seeking an affordable MMJ certification? Then Quick Med Cards is the place to go. Our prices range from $45 to $149, depending on your doctor’s experience and your individual needs.

        Is a PA medical marijuana card good in other states?

        Depending on their reciprocity laws, some states may recognize the Pennsylvania medical marijuana card.

        States like Arkansas, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, and Oklahoma may acknowledge the PA medical card. But it is worth noting that Arkansas, Hawaii, and Oklahoma require visiting patients to apply for an out-of-state MMJ card. Understanding the reciprocity laws is crucial before purchasing or possessing MMJ in another state.

        How long does it take to get a medical marijuana card in PA?

        It takes seven (7) days for processing and printing. And an extra 14 days for delivery to get your PA medical marijuana card.

        The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program has a quick turnaround time. So, you won’t have to wait long to access the benefits of medical marijuana in the state. After paying for your card, you can expect to have it in your mailbox within a few weeks.

        Does Pennsylvania accept out-of-state MMJ cards?

        No, Pennsylvania does not accept out-of-state MMJ cards.

        So, only patients with a PA medical card can purchase medical marijuana from dispensaries within the state.

        What is a 90-day supply of medical marijuana in PA?

        Since 2021, patients in Pennsylvania with a medical card can possess at most a 90-day supply of medical marijuana thanks to an amendment to the Medical Marijuana Act.

        The specific amount of MMJ that makes up a 90-day supply varies depending on the patient’s case and the dispensing facility used. That being said, It’s a welcome change from the previous limit of a 30-day supply.

        Can I get my medical marijuana card for free in PA?

        Individuals participating in certain government assistance programs may qualify for a no-cost PA medical card.

        Still, consultations with licensed medical professionals and certifications aren’t free. Luckily, Quick Med Cards provides affordable access to expert MMJ doctors in PA. Our online consultations cost between $45 to $149. It’s the cheapest way to receive certification and access medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Don’t let costs keep you from getting the help you need.

        Patient Resources and Forms

        How to Contact the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program

        State Agency: Pennsylvania Department of Health

        Phone: 888-733-5595

        Mailing Address:

        Pennsylvania Department of Health
        Health and Welfare Building
        8th Floor West
        625 Forster Street
        Harrisburg, PA 17120

        Contact Form: https://forms.health.pa.gov/health-contact-us/

        Website: https://www.health.pa.gov