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Becoming a Patient in Pennsylvania
The first step to becoming a patient in Pennsylvania is to register on the Department of Health website. Have your valid Pennsylvania driver's license or state-issued ID (or change of address card if applicable) in front of you while registering as you will need to match the information exactly as it appears on the ID, as your first name and last name must match the way they appear on that card. Make sure the address is recognized by the USPS as a valid mailing address. Enter only the digits where numbers are required (no spaces, hyphens, etc.).
Once you've created an account, see a doctor registered to certify cannabis patients with the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The department keeps a public record of registered doctors (PDF).
When your doctor completes your registration, you will receive an email from the department detailing the steps remaining to receive your patient ID card. There will be a $50 fee payable online by credit card. You can receive a discount on the card if you qualify for Medicaid, PACE/PACENET, CHIP, SNAP or WIC.
If you are diagnosed with one of the following conditions, you may be eligible for physician certification as a patient in Pennsylvania:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis;
- Anxiety disorders;
- Cancer, including remission therapy;
- Crohn's disease;
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system (brain-spinal cord) with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, and other associated neuropathies;
- Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders;
- HIV / AIDS;
- Huntington's disease;
- Inflammatory bowel disease;
- Intractable seizures;
- Multiple sclerosis;
- Neurodegenerative diseases;
- Opioid use disorder for which conventional therapeutic interventions are contraindicated or ineffective, or for which adjunctive therapy is indicated in combination with primary therapeutic interventions;
- Parkinson's disease;
- Post-traumatic stress disorder;
- Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain;
- Sickle cell anemia;
- Terminal illness; and
- Tourette syndrome.
Becoming a Patient as a Minor:
Minors under the age of 18 require a caregiver to register on their behalf. If you are the minor's parent, legal guardian or spouse, you can register as their caregiver by selecting the appropriate caregiver option on the registration site. If you are not the minor's parent, legal guardian or spouse, it is recommended that an 'authorization to designate a third-party caregiver' form be completed. This form can be downloaded from the caregiver's profile. Once completed, you can upload the form in your caregiver profile.
Benefits of Being a Patient:
As a patient, you will have an affirmative defense in court if you are arrested for cannabis possession. You will also be legally protected from discrimination based on your cannabis use in a child custody hearing. An employer will not be allowed to fire you on the basis of your enrollment in the program.
Becoming a Caregiver:
In order to register as a patient's caregiver, you must have a valid Pennsylvania driver's license or PA state-issued ID card. If the patient is already registered, you will need the patient's name, date of birth and patient ID number. An individual 21 years of age or older, unless authorized by the department, can serve as a caregiver. Caregivers must register with the Department of Health and follow the instructions to complete a criminal history background check with the commonwealth's authorized vendor. All caregivers must complete a background check. Any criminal record will be reviewed prior to approval. You cannot be approved as a caregiver if you have been convicted of a criminal offense relating to the sale or possession of drugs, narcotics or controlled substances within the last five years. Caregivers may provide care for up to five patients.
Out of State Patients:
The state of Pennsylvania does not recognize out of state patient registrations. For more information about traveling as a medical cannabis patient, check out our Travel Guide.
Growing cannabis at home is not legal in Pennsylvania.