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November 01, 2017

Pennsylvania launches patient-physician registry for medical marijuana program

Pennsylvania reached an important milestone in the implementation of its medical marijuana program on Wednesday, launching an official patient and caregiver registry to centralize authorization of the treatment.

With a new website, patients and approved physicians can now log in to manage care and maintain their eligibility to participate in the program.

“Right now, patients and caregivers across Pennsylvania can go to our website and register to participate in the medical marijuana program,” Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said. “More than 100 physicians have been approved to certify patients, bringing us one step closer to getting medical marijuana to Pennsylvanians who desperately need relief."

After passage of the medical marijuana law in April 2016, the state aims to deliver medication to patients in the next six months. The law permits registered physicians to prescribe the drug in pill, oil or ointment form for patients suffering from one of 17 qualifying conditions.

Prior to registering on the state website, patients are advised to talk with their doctors about whether the treatment is appropriate for them and ensure that their home addresses are consistent with their state-issued ID.

More than 300 physicians statewide have registered to participate in the program. Many of them are completing the required continuing education before they sign up on the new state registry.

“We cannot underestimate the role physicians have played in making sure that patients can access medical marijuana," Levine said. “Our physician workgroup also has been helping to make sure this program remains medically focused and an important tool in our medical toolkit.”

Over the summer, Pennsylvania issued its first round of permits for grower-processors and dispensaries. The state is now in the process of formally approving these initial locations to begin operations.

More information on the state's medical marijuana program can be found here.

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