This bill amends the medical marijuana act to make various changes to the existing medical program in Pennsylvania.
The bill gets rid of the qualifying conditions for the program. This means patients will no longer have to have one of the approved conditions to be certified for a medical marijuana card. The bill would still require a one time $50 processing fee to get certified as a patient, but would establish that patient certifications do not expire, unless recommended by a certifying physician.
Removes the restriction on advertising and marketing of medical marijuana. Establishes that the Department of Health would be required to define and publish guidelines to monitor the marketing of medical marijuana. Under the guidelines medical marijuana advertising or marketing materials would not be required to be approved by the DOH but must be free of anything that appeals to minors.
The bill also removes the provision of law that prohibited practitioners from advertising their services to certify medical marijuana patients.
Forms of Medical Marijuana
The bill would also legalize the sale of edibles. These would include gummies, beverages, and other ingestible forms. The bill would remove the existing law that makes smoking or combusting medical marijuana illegal.
Pre Approval of packaging and labeling by the DOH would no longer be required under the bill. Establishes that if the state ever legalizes the adult use sale of marijuana, each existing medical marijuana organization will have its permit for the cultivation and/or dispensing of medical marijuana extended to adult use.
The bill repeals the current requirement that growers can only source seeds and clones from outside Pennsylvania during one 30 day period per year to allow growers to do this year round. Permits growers to obtain industrial hemp-derived cannabidiol and other cannabinoids from any commercial source in our outside or the state.
Repeals the current requirements for growers to apply solvent-based extraction methods and processes to medical marijuana that has failed testing for yeast and mold. The current requirements only allow product that has failed testing to be remediated into a topical form and the product is required to be labeled as remediated.
Amends existing laws related to the addition of excipients for products. Excipients would now be required to be “pharmaceutical or food grade” and permitted by the U.S. FDA for use in food or recognized as safe under Federal guidelines. Any residual limitations would be required to not exceed federal guidelines for dosage under the U.S. Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary.
The bill also lowers the amount of time a grower/processor and a dispensary is required to retain the recordings on site or offsite from 180 days to 60 days. Grower/processors would be allowed to source and sell ancillary devices that are used to administer medical marijuana.
Growers would only be required to submit a sample of a final product that utilizes a “statistically relevant sample for the size of the batch.” Growers would still be required to maintain a stability sample to submit to a lab for testing to ensure the product’s potency and purity at 6 month intervals for the duration of the expiration date period.
Dispensaries would be required to continue to verify patient certifications upon entry to the dispensary. The dispensary must have a physician or a pharmacist available to supervise verification and to consult with patients while the dispensary is open. If a dispensary has more than one location they would be allowed to have a physician assistant or nurse practitioner consult with patients but must maintain a minimum of a one-to-one medical professional to location ratio.
Dispensaries would also be permitted to sell their “brand logo products” along with medical devices and instruments needed to administer medical marijuana.
The bill establishes that if adult use is legalized in PA each clinical registrant would be automatically given the right to sell adult use marijuana and medical marijuana. Provides that if an academic clinical research center does not renew or terminates a contact with a licensed clinical registrant, the clinical registrant still retains the right to grow and dispense in the program as long as its facility and dispensaries were operating for a minimum of two years prior to the nonrenewal or termination.