As part of a rush of last-minute legislation, the Pennsylvania General Assembly on Friday passed an omnibus bill making numerous tweaks to the state’s medical marijuana law.
The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Paul Schemel, R-Franklin, will enshrine in law numerous temporary policies adopted by the state Department of Health during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as recommendations from a state advisory board.
Among the changes are approval for curbside pick-up of marijuana prescriptions, increasing the maximum supply one can collect from 30 to 90 days, and expanding who can fill orders for a patient.
Schemel told the Capital-Star his bill puts medical marijuana “more in line with pharmaceuticals in a pharmacy. I’m supportive of that.”
The proposal also would allow people with misdemeanor criminal charges to work in the industry. An individual with felony narcotics charges could also work in medical marijuana if at least ten years had passed since they committed the act.
The proposal passed the state Senate 47-3 on Friday evening. In the upper chamber, marijuana advocates attempted to amend the bill with a measure allowing patients to home grow up to five cannabis plants.
“This would create additional affordability for so many Pennsylvanians,” said state Sen. Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia, who sponsored the change. But the proposal was tabled by the Republican majority.
Less than an hour later, the bill passed the House by a vote of 165-36, and went to Gov. Tom Wolf’s desk.
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