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Medical marijuana regulations change due to COVID-19 outbreak

Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Program is making some temporary changes, to ensure patients can get what they need during the coronavirus pandemic.
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LANCASTER, Pa. — Some changes have been made to the Medical Marijuana Program for cardholders in Pennsylvania. Officials are working to ensure patients can get what they need during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Local dispensaries are also taking precautionary measures, to help keep their employees and patients healthy. 

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, medical marijuana sales spiked nationwide reaching an all time high due to the outbreak. 

Certain statutory and regulatory provisions have been temporarily suspended to implement changes made during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to The PA Department of Health: 

  • Allowing dispensary employees to provide medical marijuana to a cardholder in their vehicle on the facility’s property.
  • Remove the current cap that limits the number of patients assigned to one care giver, to allow for more care givers to patients in need.
  • Eliminate background checks for caregiver applications, limited to renewal applications only, in order to expedite the care giver renewal process.
  • Waive in-person consultations and allow for remote consultations between approved practitioners and medical marijuana cardholders for renewal certifications only.
  • Waive limits that allow for medical marijuana to only be dispensed for 30 days by requiring approved practitioners to notate on the patient’s certification to dispense a 90-day supply.

Officials say these changes will remain in place for the duration of the disaster emergency. 

Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman says conversations have been happening to figure out the best way to optimize our states delivery of this critical medicine during the pandemic. He says further refinements will be widely reported when they are established. 

CURE, a dispensary in Manheim Township, Lancaster County has a COVID-19 note to their patients on their website

Their goal is to keep their employees and patients, safe and healthy during the outbreak. They encourage their patients to place their orders online ahead of time to reduce wait times, and long lines.

CURE is only allowing a handful of people inside the dispensary at a time, so people may have to wait outside to pick up their items. 

They also say that they are doing the best to satisfy all product requests, but their products are in high demand across Pennsylvania right now and with very limited inventory. CURE says to please check their website and social media for inventory updates.  

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