Earlier this week, Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana, and now officials are shifting their focus from legalization to establishing a statewide distribution network.
According to the Philly Voice, the new medical marijuana bill officially takes effect 30 days after Governor Tom Wolf signed it on April 17, but the "timeline to develop an operative system—growers, processors, dispensaries and providers—is expected to take between 18-24 months."
On Tuesday, Wolf told Pittsburgh's 1020 KDKA radio station that qualified patients should be able to access medicine sooner than that, implying that medical marijuana could be imported to Pennsylvania as an interim step.
“People should be able to start using these medicines really quickly," Wolf said. "If someone were to go to another state and buy it legally and bring it back for medicinal purposes, I kind of doubt that most prosecutors would pursue a case even right now… We are trying to give relief to families, and I think it would be much appreciated by the families and it would be consistent with the will of the General Assembly and the people they represent. This is relief we’d like to be able to start getting as soon as possible.”
Under the new program, patients suffering from 17 qualified conditions, including cancer, Crohn's disease and severe chronic or intractable pain, will have access to cannabis in pill, oil or ointment form. As reported by the Philly Voice, the state will authorize up to 25 marijuana growers and processors and will allow as many as 50 dispensaries each to operate three locations in Pennsylvania.
(Photo Courtesy of MidasLetter)