Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis Can't Be Smoked And Four Other Things From S.B. 1182

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A bill that would legalize medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is headed to the state House of Representatives after receiving approval in the Senate. Proposed by state Sen. Mike Folmer, a Republican serving Lebanon, Dauphin and York counties, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act has undergone some changes since its January unveiling. As the bill continues to grind its way through the legislative process, here are five things worth knowing about the bill as it is currently proposed. Note that changes could and likely will be made to the bill as it continues its journey to Gov. Tom Corbett's desk.

1. What is medical cannabis?
Medical cannabis consists of plants containing cannabidiol, or CBD; tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC; or Delta-9-THC acid or any part of a cannabis plant, including cannabis processed by extracting oil from the plant, intended for medical purposes. The term includes extracted oil, edible products, ointments and tinctures. In S.B. 1182, the term includes cannabis sativa, cannabis indica and the hybrid created by combining cannabis sativa and cannabis indica.

2. What can it be used for?
Some conditions that can be treated by medical cannabis - HIV, AIDS, chronic pain - were removed from the bill's initial proposal. The remaining conditions are: Cancer, epilepsy and seizures, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cachexia/wasting syndrome, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury and postconcussion syndrome, multiple sclerosis, spinocerebellara ataxia (SCA), post-traumatic stress disorder, severe fibromyalgia, or a condition authorized by the state's Department of Health under section 702, which allows for people to petition for more conditions beginning in 2015.

3. You can't smoke it.
Medical use does not include the smoking or vaporization of cannabis, according to the bill.

4. Who will regulate medical cannabis?
The state's Board of Medical Cannabis Licensing will be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of a majority of the Senate. The board will consist of the secretary of the state's Department of Health, the commissioner of the state's Professional and Occupational Affairs, secretary of Public Welfare, two public members, one member representing hospitals, two members who are registered nurses, a licensed pharmacist and two members who are medical doctors representing specialties that use medical cannabis to treat patients.

The board will provide for and regulate the licensing of cannabis growers, processors and dispensers. It will also issue, deny, renew, suspend and revoke licenses and certifications of testing labs and occupation permits. Among other specific duties, the board will also develop a system to ensure medical cannabis dispensers are able to verify medical cannabis access cards.

5. How do you get medical cannabis?
A patient with a qualified condition will be required to register with the state's Department of Health for a Medical Cannabis Access Card that must be renewed annually. In order to recommend medical cannabis, a licensed health care practitioner has to complete a documented, in-person full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition not more than 90 days before making a certification for medical cannabis. Assessments shall include review of medical records from other treating health care practitioners from the past year.

The practitioner must certify that the patient is under the physician's care for and that the physician has expertise in the patient's qualifying medical condition. He/she must also certify that in his/her professional opinion, the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefits from the medical use of cannabis to treat the patient's qualifying medical condition or symptoms associated with the condition.



News Moderator - The General @ 420 MAGAZINE ®
Source: Eveningsun.com
Author: Mark Walters
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Website: Medical cannabis can't be smoked and four other things from S.B. 1182 - Evening Sun