The Pennsylvania Department of Health is taking steps to maintain patients’ access to medical cannabis during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state’s medical cannabis growers/processors and dispensaries have been deemed life-sustaining businesses that are allowed to remain open under Gov. Tom Wolf’s order for non-life-sustaining businesses to close, according to a local Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 report.
The state has also announced the suspension of certain statutory and regulatory provisions as of March 20 in order to implement a series of changes to allow patients enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program to continue receiving medication, the news outlet reported.
The changes allow dispensary employees to provide medical cannabis to patients in their vehicles, as long as they are on the facility’s property, according to Action News 4. The state has also removed a cap that limited how many patients one caregiver could have, and has eliminated background checks for the renewal of caregiver applications to expedite the renewal process, the news outlet reported.
The state will also waive in-person consultations for the renewal of patients’ medical cannabis cards to allow for remote consultations between certified practitioners and medical cannabis patients for certification renewal, according to Action News 4. Practitioners may also request that patients receive a 90-day supply of medical cannabis from a dispensary, as the state has temporarily waived its 30-day limit.
These changes will be effective as long as Pennsylvania’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency remains in effect, Action News 4 reported.