Pennsylvania (PA) Medical Marijuana Program

Medically reviewed by Dr. Shatha Atiya on April 21, 2023 

To access medical cannabis in Pennsylvania, you must register as a patient with the PA Medical Marijuana Program. But before you can complete your registration with the PA Medical Marijuana Program, a licensed medical marijuana doctor must certify that you suffer from a qualifying medical condition.

This page highlights the necessary information you should know about the PA Medical Marijuana Program. After going over the contents of this page, you should be well informed about what the program requires from you. The information below should also help make it easier to apply for your medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania. Start your PA medical card application by booking an appointment with a PA medical marijuana doctor near you.

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What is the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program?

The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program is the section of the Department of Health that regulates the production and consumption of medical-grade cannabis inside the state. Through the program, patients can receive a certification from a licensed doctor, which allows them to apply for a Patient ID Card (medical marijuana card). The medical card ensures safe access to cannabis-based medicine for patients in the state.  Additionally, the program registers medical marijuana organizations that are operational in the state. The main aim is to facilitate access to medical marijuana for qualifying patients through safe and effective forms of cannabis while ensuring patient care and safety.

How Does the Medical Marijuana Program Work in PA?

The fundamental role of the PA Medical Marijuana Program is to provide access to medical cannabis for patients with severe medical conditions. The program also works to ensure that medical marijuana delivered to patients is safe and effective.

Only patients with a valid PA medical card have access to medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Getting the PA medical card is an easy process that you can complete online. A marijuana certification is crucial for applicants, and Quick Med Cards connects patients with authorized medical marijuana doctors in PA.

The appointment takes place online on a video call, and it usually takes 10 to 15 minutes. If you are approved, the cannabis doctor will issue you with a marijuana certification enabling you to complete your application for the PA medical card.

Medical marijuana uses in PA

Medical marijuana can be used in the treatment of many serious medical conditions. It’s important to note that PA medical marijuana doctors only certify individuals suffering from a qualifying condition for a medical card. Often, the doctor will consider cannabis treatment if you are suffering from:

  • A chronic disease whose prescription medication could lead to physical or psychological dependence.
  • Or a chronic medical condition that causes severe, debilitating psychiatric disorders.

Take a look at the complete list of PA medical marijuana conditions.

How to Submit Your PA Medical Marijuana Application

Although you need a Patient ID by creating an account with the PA Medical Marijuana Program, you can schedule an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor through QuickMedCards before you do. Our helpful customer service agents will guide you in creating your profile to obtain your Patient ID. Besides a Patient ID, there are other requirements you need to fulfill to be eligible for the medical card. They include:

1. You must be a resident of Pennsylvania.

2.  The minimum age for adult patients is 18 years old.

3. If you are a minor, an approved and registered caregiver must apply on your behalf.

4. Get diagnosed with at least one of the PA medical marijuana conditions.

5. Last but not least, a PA medical marijuana doctor participating in the program must certify you for medicinal cannabis.

*Please note: Out-of-state patients are not eligible for the Pennsylvania medical marijuana card.

Which documents do I need to submit for the PA medical marijuana application?

To complete your PA medical card application, you must have the following documents ready for upload: 

  1. Proof of Pennsylvania residency. For example:
    • PA driver’s license
    • PA state-issued ID
      (Most importantly, your ID and license must show your current address.)
  2. A patient certification from a PA marijuana doctor.
  3. To be eligible for the discounted PA medical card, you must provide proof of participating in the following programs:
    • Medicaid
    • CHIP
    • SNAP
    • WIC

Where to Get Medical Marijuana in PA – Dispensaries

There are many marijuana dispensaries ready to serve patients in Pennsylvania, with Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Washington leading in dispensary numbers.

For a comprehensive resource of the registered dispensaries in Pennsylvania, check out the PA Medical Marijuana Program Dispensaries List.

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program Rules

With a PA medical card, patients can lawfully purchase and possess medical marijuana without worrying about getting entangled with law enforcement. But, there are limits to these freedoms. So, what do the Pennsylvania marijuana laws say?

  • Patients in the PA medical marijuana program CANNOT grow medical marijuana for personal use on their property.
  • Approved patients shouldn’t possess more than their 30-day supply limit as set by their recommending doctor.
  • Pennsylvania marijuana law doesn’t deem marijuana paraphernalia necessary for any form of medical marijuana treatment and therefore you shouldn’t own or use cannabis paraphernalia.
  • Patients can only obtain medical marijuana from state-approved dispensaries in Pennsylvania. Most importantly, PA’s marijuana law prohibits personal sales, so patients shouldn’t engage with them in any way.

Find out how you could be a responsible PA medical marijuana patient and the possible penaltiesif you break the Pennsylvania marijuana laws.

When did the PA Medical Marijuana Program Start?

The Pennsylvania Department of Health took control of the newly established PA Medical Marijuana Program after Governor Wolf legalized medical marijuana on 6th April 2016. However, it took about two years, until 15th February 2018 to be precise before patients could finally obtain medical marijuana from dispensaries in Pennsylvania.

Despite the delay, a domino effect ensued upon legalizing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. The law scrapped state-level criminal penalties involving the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by residents with a signed physician recommendation.

Common Questions about the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program

Below are the answers to common questions patients have about the PA Medical Marijuana Program.

Do I need a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania?

Yes, PA dispensaries can only dispense cannabis to patients that provide a valid PA medical marijuana card. Also, marijuana is only legal for medicinal use in Pennsylvania.

So, only patients registered with the state medical marijuana program have access to cannabis. Soon, however, marijuana may be legal for recreational use if Pennsylvania lawmakers pass House Bill 2050.

Who can participate in the PA medical marijuana program?

Residents of Pennsylvania diagnosed with one of the PA medical marijuana conditions are eligible for the medical marijuana card.

Some PA medical marijuana conditions include anxiety, chronic pain, cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome.

How do I know I am eligible for the Pennsylvania medical marijuana program?

First, check if your condition is among the PA medical marijuana conditions. Next, you must have a PA driver’s license or a state-issued ID to prove Pennsylvania residency.

If you meet these requirements, create an account with the PA Patient and Caregiver Registry and get your patient ID to start your medical card application process.

Do I have to be a resident of Pennsylvania to join the medical marijuana program?

Yes, only residents of Pennsylvania can register as patients with the medical marijuana program and get a PA medical card.

When applying for the PA medical card, you must provide a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license or state-issued ID as proof of Pennsylvania residency. Most importantly, the PA driver’s license or state-issued ID must show your current address.

Does Pennsylvania offer reduced medical marijuana enrollment fees for people in need?

Yes, the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program may offer reduced fees to patients that prove financial hardship.

Patients that can submit proof of participation in programs such as Medicaid, PACE/PACENET, CHIP, SNAP, and WIC may be eligible for fee reductions.

What steps do I need to take to participate in the PA medical marijuana program as a patient?

1. Register your account with the Pennsylvania Patient and Caregiver Registry.
2. Book an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor in PA participating in the program.
3. Get a patient certification from your cannabis doctor.
4. Pay for your PA medical card.
5. Get your PA medical marijuana card and visit a dispensary near you to buy your medicine.

Can minors with serious medical conditions get medical marijuana?

Yes, minors (patients under 18 years of age) may qualify for medical marijuana as long as they have a caregiver.

The caregiver can be their parent, legal guardian, or an individual designated by their parent, or legal guardian. Also, an appropriate individual approved by the department can serve as their caregiver if no parent or legal guardian is available.

How do I sign up or register a minor in the program?

Select theCaregiver registering for a new patientoption on the Patient and Caregiver Registry. Afterward, complete the necessary information on the registration page.

The required information will include the minor’s information and your information. If you are not the minor’s parent or legal guardian, you will need to complete the third-party caregiver form.

I’m home-bound. Can I still register for the medical marijuana program?

Yes, you may register yourself and designate up to two caregivers to help you obtain medical marijuana.

Alternatively, you may have a caregiver apply on your behalf. If your caregiver is approved, they can pick up your medical marijuana at an authorized dispensary in PA.

Who can have a caregiver?

Any patient can have a caregiver. There are three categories of patients who do not need to get a medical card and therefore do not need to go to a dispensary. They include:

1. Minors.

2. Homebound adult patients.

3. Patients who benefit from assistance.

Does PA accept out-of-state MMJ cards in 2022?

No. Pennsylvania does not honor out-of-state MMJ cards because it does not have an established reciprocity program.

So, a visiting patient with medical marijuana card issued by their home state cannot buy cannabis from PA dispensaries or use and possess marijuana lawfully in the state.

Can I use my PA medical card in Florida?

No, Florida does not allow visiting patients with a PA medical card or any other out-of-state medical card to buy medical marijuana in the state.

Medical cannabis is exclusive to residents of Florida with a valid state-issued medical card.

How much does medical marijuana cost in PA?

The starting price of medical marijuana from PA dispensaries:

  • Cannabis flower $35 (7g)
  • Vape cartridges $30 (300 mg)
  • Tinctures $30
  • Sublingual sprays $27
  • Concentrates / extracts $30
  • Edibles $20
  • Topicals $25
  • Disposable vape pens $20

The cost of medical marijuana in PA may vary depending on the amount and type of cannabis you buy and the dispensary.

Patient Resources and Forms

Contact details for the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program Registry

State Agency: Pennsylvania Department of Health

Phone: 888-733-5595

(Hours of operation: 7 AM – 9 PM ET, seven days a week, excluding state holidays.)

Mailing Address:

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


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