But that doesn’t mean the drug will be dispensed any time soon.
The state is still hammering out regulations governing which doctors will dispense marijuana and which patients are eligible to receive it. These hurdles will keep the drug from being handed out legally until 2018.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health said no doctors are certified yet to dispense cannabis. The department is working to develop regulations for physicians and is just now beginning the process of registering them, said Director of Communications April Hutcheson.
In order to participate in the Medical Marijuana Program, a physician must apply to the state health department, demonstrate by training or expertise that he or she is qualified to treat serious medical conditions, successfully complete the required four-hour course and hold a valid state medical license.
Once doctors are registered, the department will establish and maintain a publicly-accessible electronic database of physicians, Hutcheson said.
The regulations for patients and caregivers are also being developed and patients are not expected to be able to start applying for medical marijuana identification cards until fall 2017, Hutcheson said. [Read more at Lehigh Valley Live]