Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Law

History of Medical Marijuana Law in PA

  • April 2016: Governor Tom Wolf signs Senate Bill 3 into law, making Pennsylvania the 24th state to legalize medical marijuana.
  • May 2016: Senate Bill 3 officially goes into effect, allowing patients with serious medical conditions to access medical marijuana.
  • January 2018: The first dispensary opens its doors to patients, marking the beginning of legal sales within the state.
  • July 2019: Pennsylvania adds anxiety disorders and Tourette syndrome to its list of qualifying medical conditions.
  • March 2020: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state grants dispensaries permission to offer curbside pickup and home delivery.

Schedule Your Appointment with A Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Doctor

Marijuana Possession Laws in Pennsylvania

If you have a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card, you're permitted to possess up to a 90-day supply of medical cannabis, as prescribed by a certified physician. Importantly, the medical cannabis must be obtained from a state-licensed dispensary and come in an approved form, such as a pill, oil, topical, vaporizable product, or tincture. Smoking marijuana is illegal, even for medical marijuana cardholders.

If you don't have an MMJ card, possession of even a small amount of marijuana (defined as 30 grams or less) is considered a misdemeanor. The penalties for this can include up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. Possession of more than 30 grams is a more severe misdemeanor, carrying penalties of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000.

Pennsylvania Public Consumption Law

In Pennsylvania, it remains illegal to consume marijuana in public places, even if you're a medical marijuana cardholder. This includes smoking, vaping, or consuming edibles in areas accessible to the general public, such as parks, sidewalks, and public transportation. Individuals caught violating this law may face fines and other penalties.

Pennsylvania Cannabis DUI Laws

Pennsylvania's DUI laws make no distinction between alcohol and drugs, including cannabis. According to PA law, a person is considered to be under the influence if they are incapable of safely driving due to the consumption of drugs or alcohol. Any detectable level of certain Schedule I controlled substances, including marijuana, can result in a DUI charge. This applies even to those who possess a medical marijuana card.

Penalties can range from fines and mandatory substance abuse treatment to extended jail time and a driver's license suspension, depending on the severity of the offense and whether it's a first-time or repeat violation.


As of now, recreational marijuana is not legal in Pennsylvania.

Registered patients and caregivers in Pennsylvania can legally possess cannabis leaf, which can be vaporized but not smoked. Additionally, they can possess cannabis-infused pills, oils, topical ointments, tinctures, and liquids.

In Pennsylvania, registered patients and caregivers cannot legally possess any form of medical cannabis that's intended for smoking. Edibles that dissolve in the mouth are legal, but chewable edibles are prohibited.

In Pennsylvania, you cannot go to a medical marijuana dispensary without a medical card. The state's program requires patients to obtain an MMJ card to purchase medical cannabis.

No, medical marijuana cardholders in Pennsylvania are not permitted to grow their own marijuana plants at home.

No, Pennsylvania does not offer out-of-state reciprocity for medical marijuana cards. This means individuals with an MMJ card from another state cannot legally purchase or possess medical marijuana within PA solely on the basis of their out-of-state card.

In Pennsylvania, having a felony conviction does not automatically disqualify you from obtaining a medical marijuana card. However, your application will be rejected if you’ve been convicted of a felony related to the sale or possession of drugs in the past five years.

Under federal law, individuals who use marijuana, even for medical purposes, are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms. This means that if you have a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania, you are considered ineligible to buy a gun.

In Pennsylvania, employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based solely on their status as medical marijuana patients. However, the law does allow employers to discipline employees if their use of medical marijuana affects their job performance or workplace safety. Furthermore, if you use medical cannabis, you may not be eligible for certain safety-sensitive or federal positions.

Updated June 16, 2024