The debate over whether to legalize marijuana has been a hot topic across the country in recent years. Advocates of legalization boast the benefits of the drug, praising it as a natural treatment for chronic pain as well as a way to control or reduce symptoms connected to other diseases, including multiple sclerosis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Meanwhile, critics point to its detriments, citing impaired cognitive function and short-term memory as well as risk of addiction.
Last year, Pennsylvania weighed in. The Medical Marijuana Act, which Governor Tom Wolf signed into law last year, has added Pennsylvania to the list of 29 states where it is now legal for patients to use marijuana for medical purposes. The first dispensaries are expected to open in early 2018.
Information for physicians
If you are a licensed physician or medical professional and would like to participate in the medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania, here’s what you need to know:
· You must have an active medical license that complies with the Medical Practice Act of 1985 or the Osteopathic Medical Practice Act, as applicable.
· You have to register with the Pennsylvania Department of Health to submit your application to participate. When you register, you will be prompted to provide your full name and contact information, proof of your professional credentials and your medical license number.
· Once your data has been validated, you will need to complete a four-hour training conducted by the Department of Health.
· You’ll then go through a final review and approval process with the Department of Health before you’ll be able to issue patient certifications.
It’s worth noting that while marijuana is now legal in most states, it is still considered a crime in the eyes of the federal government. Therefore, it is important for anyone working in this industry to make sure they understand best practices to work within this tricky situation.