Parents and guardians of children with epilepsy and other medical conditions will be able to obtain a “safe harbor” letter next month allowing them to obtain medical marijuana from outside Pennsylvania. (AP file photo)
Parents and guardians of children with epilepsy and other medical conditions will be able to obtain a "safe harbor" letter next month allowing them to obtain medical marijuana from outside Pennsylvania.
Temporary regulations for child patients are the first to be rolled out by the state Department of Health since Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize the use of cannabis to treat certain medical conditions following a long, arduous path through the General Assembly. Full implementation of the law is expected to take between 18 and 24 months.
"In July, parents, legal guardians, caregivers, and spouses will be able to apply to the department for a Safe Harbor Letter that will allow them to administer medical marijuana obtained from outside of Pennsylvania to minors in their care," said Health Secretary Karen Murphy, in a written statement. "Once approved, the letter should be carried whenever medical marijuana is being transported outside of an individual's home."
Caregivers are required to complete a background check, provide a picture ID and obtain a physician form from a doctor licensed by the state in order to be approved for out-of-state purchases.
The state Department of Health has warned, however, that marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.
That means that the letter may not be a shield against prosecution for individuals traveling with marijuana outside Pennsylvania, even for those intending to bring it back for the use of a state-approved child patient.
Pennsylvania has continued to work on the regulations that will underpin the medical marijuana law. Next up will be rules for growers and processors; dispensaries and laboratories; physicians; and then patients and caregivers.
"We are actively working to implement a high quality, efficient, and compliant medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania," Murphy said.
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by PENNLIVE
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