Pennsylvania Cannabis History
While recreational marijuana use remains illegal in Pennsylvania for the time being, the state established a medical marijuana program in 2016 when Governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 3, legalizing the medical use of cannabis. When enacted, Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize cannabis for medical use. Retail sales began in 2018.
Also in 2018, Pennsylvania passed House Bill 163, repealing Pennsylvania's automatic driver's license suspension for drug-related offenses, in addition to other non-drug related convictions.
Pennsylvania Child-Resistant Packaging Rules§ 1151.34. Packaging and labeling of medical marijuana products.
- (a) A grower/processor shall package and label at its facility each form of medical marijuana products prepared for sale. The original seal of a package may not be broken, except for quality control testing at an approved laboratory, for adverse loss investigations conducted by the Department or by a dispensary that purchased the medical marijuana products.
- (b) A grower/processor shall package the medical marijuana products in a package that minimizes exposure to oxygen and that is:
- (1) Child-resistant.
- (2) Tamper-proof or tamper-evident.
- (3) Light-resistant or opaque, or both.
- (4) Resealable.
- (c) A grower/processor shall identify each process lot of medical marijuana with a unique identifier.
- (d) A grower/processor shall obtain the prior written approval of the Department of the content of any label to be affixed to a medical marijuana product package. Each label must meet the following requirements:
- (1) Be easily readable.
- (2) Made of weather-resistant and tamper-resistant materials.
- (3) Be conspicuously placed on the package.
- (4) Include the name, address and permit number of the grower/processor.
- (5) List the form, quantity and weight of medical marijuana included in the package.
- (6) List the number of individual doses contained within the package, and the species and percentage of THC and CBD.
- (7) Contain an identifier that is unique to a particular harvest batch of medical marijuana, including the number assigned to each harvest lot or process lot in the harvest batch.
- (8) Include the date the medical marijuana product was packaged.
- (9) State the employee identification number of the employee preparing the package and packaging the medical marijuana product.
- (10) State the employee identification number of the employee shipping the package, if different than the employee described in paragraph (9).
- (11) Contain the name and address of the dispensary to which the package is to be sold.
- (12) List the date of expiration of the medical marijuana product.
- (13) Include instructions for proper storage of the medical marijuana product in the package.
- (14) Contain the following warning stating:
- This product is for medicinal use only. Women should not consume during pregnancy or while breastfeeding except on the advice of the practitioner who issued the certification and, in the case of breastfeeding, the infant’s pediatrician. This product might impair the ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. Keep out of reach of children.
- (15) Contain a warning that the medical marijuana product must be kept in the original container in which it was dispensed.
- (16) Contain a warning that unauthorized use is unlawful and will subject the purchaser to criminal penalties.
- (e) Labeling by a grower/processor of any medical marijuana product may not bear:
- (1) Any resemblance to the trademarked, characteristic or product-specialized packaging of any commercially available food or beverage product.
- (2) Any statement, artwork or design that could reasonably lead an individual to believe that the package contains anything other than medical marijuana.
- (3) Any seal, flag, crest, coat of arms or other insignia that could reasonably mislead an individual to believe that the product has been endorsed, manufactured or approved for use by any state, county or municipality or any agency thereof.
- (4) Any cartoon, color scheme, image, graphic or feature that might make the package attractive to children.
Useful Links for Pennsylvania Cannabis RegulationsPennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program
Medical Marijuana Two-Year Final Report - May 15, 2020
PA DOH Grower-Processor Operational Checklist
PA Medical Marijuana Organization Permit Application Instructions
Pennsylvania Cannabis Growers Application
Editor's Note: Status as of 4/8/2021
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