How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card Online in Pennsylvania
For many Pennsylvania residents suffering from chronic conditions, debilitating mental health issues, serious diseases, and even terminal illnesses, pharmaceuticals may not be sufficient to provide needed symptom relief.
Or prescription drugs may produce too many undesirable side effects that further impact their quality of life and ability to function normally.
Thankfully, medical marijuana was legalized in the state in 2016, with products becoming available in 2018. There are now dozens of dispensary locations in the state offering medical cannabis to patients in need.
Before you can begin purchasing products, though, you need to know how to get a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania.
The caring and qualified professionals at Green Choice Medical are here to help with a convenient process that allows you to register remotely. We help you to save time and money and provide peace of mind that the process will be completed quickly and easily.
Who Is Eligible for a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card?
Some states have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana products, significantly increasing access for both patients and average consumers. In Pennsylvania, however, you will have to register to get a medical marijuana card online if you want to make purchases.
That said, the state isn’t handing out ID cards like candy. You will have to meet several criteria in order to qualify for a card, including parameters pertaining to medical conditions, age, and residency, for example. Here’s what you should know about eligibility requirements before you start the registration process.
Qualifying Conditions for a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card
The first step when determining how to get a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania is understanding the health conditions that qualify for treatment with medical cannabis. Such conditions include:
- Anxiety, including COVID-related anxiety
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Cancer, including remission therapy
- Crohn’s Disease
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system (brain-spinal cord)
- Dyskinetic or spastic movement disorders
- Huntington’s Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Intractable seizures
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Opioid use disorder
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe, chronic, or intractable pain
- Sickle cell anemia
- Terminal illness
- Tourette Syndrome
Whether you’ve already been diagnosed with one or more of these conditions or not, you’ll need an approved physician to submit a certification verifying that you qualify to register for a medical marijuana ID card.
Green Choice Medical makes it easy to get your Pennsylvania medical marijuana card, thanks to a simple process that includes a phone consultation with an approved physician. No medical records are required, just a simple phone call with our doctor.
Only residents of Pennsylvania are eligible to participate in the medical marijuana program and receive a medical marijuana online card. During the registration process, you must submit an ID number from a valid driver’s license or state ID issued through PennDOT.
You will also be asked to provide contact information (email and phone number), as well as a local address that matches your driver’s license or state ID. It’s illegal to provide false information, and you may face penalties for doing so.
In addition to being a resident, you must be at least 18 years old to register for a medical marijuana card. This law doesn’t mean minors can’t qualify to receive medical marijuana, but they can’t have their own card or purchase their own cannabis products.
Instead, a parent/guardian must register as a caregiver with the Department of Health (DOH) Medical Marijuana Program. An approved caregiver can purchase medical marijuana on behalf of a minor patient. Anyone who requires a caregiver may have up to two registered caregivers with the program.
Anyone age 21 or older who is a resident of Pennsylvania may be eligible to register as a caregiver with the Department of Health. However, they will have to submit to a criminal background check that is not required as part of patient registration.
If approved, a caregiver will be required to pay a fee and then be issued a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card that allows them to make purchases on behalf of one or more patients, including minor/dependent patients.
While a patient may only have two registered caregivers through the medical marijuana program, a registered caregiver may serve up to five patients. Caregivers must renew their cards annually, just like patients.
Certification from an Approved Physician
Before you can get medical marijuana card online, you’ll need to obtain a certification from an approved doctor.
Approved physicians must register with the Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program. You can find listings for doctors who meet these criteria, but if your primary physician or specialist isn’t registered with the program, you’ll have to see a doctor that is.
You may feel uncomfortable with the idea of seeing a doctor you didn’t choose. Or you might suffer from mental or physical limitations that make it difficult to leave the house for appointments. In addition, there may not be any approved doctors near you, necessitating extended travel.
Green Choice Medical addresses all of these potential challenges by providing the opportunity to connect with an approved physician remotely. You can complete most of your registration online, and your consultation with a doctor will be done over the phone.
In other words, you can complete the whole process from the comfort of your home with less hassle, stress, and, likely, expense.
The Process to Get Medical Marijuana Card Online
Obtaining a medical marijuana card doesn’t have to be a difficult, lengthy, or expensive process. Pennsylvania does require certification from an approved physician, but the good news is you don’t have to visit in person to get certified.
The team at Green Choice Medical is happy to help. You don’t have to jump through hoops learning how to get a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania – it can all be done remotely through our convenient platform by following a simple process. Our approval rate is over 99%. How does it work?
Schedule a Consultation
The process of obtaining a medical marijuana online card starts when you schedule your consultation. Our goal is to make your life easier, which is why we offer you the opportunity to schedule at a date and time that’s convenient for you.
You must select the service you need (whether you’re a new patient or a returning Green Choice Medical customer) and the date that works best for you.
Next, you can pick from a range of available times. Some days have morning appointments available, while others have afternoons, and you can easily click a new date on the calendar if your preferred time isn’t available.
Enter Health Information and Pay for Chosen Services
Once you’ve selected the date and time of your consultation, you’ll be asked to complete a form with some basic personal and health information, including your name, date of birth, and contact information, as well as data pertaining to your medical history.
If you’ve been diagnosed with conditions like high blood pressure, anxiety, PTSD, diabetes, cancer, MS, Parkinson’s Disease, and so on, you’ll be asked to disclose that information and explain further.
You’ll also be asked about surgeries, allergies, alcohol and drug dependency, current medications you’re taking, and your family history of mental health concerns.
When you finish filling out the questionnaire, you will be asked to submit your payment, determined by the type of service you chose. From there, you can move on to registration.
Register with the State Department of Health
The next step for how to get a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania is to fill out your online registration for the medical marijuana program through the Department of Health website. You can reach it via the convenient link we provide. New users can choose from a number of options, including “Adult Patient” and several caregiver designations.
Adult patients are required to submit information that includes name, date of birth, and address, as they appear on their state-issued driver’s license or state ID, along with your ID number and your contact information (email, phone).
It’s important that you fill in all information correctly, as failure to do so could be considered to be a false statement, potentially resulting in penalties.
Complete a Phone Consultation
Finally, it’s time to complete your phone consultation with a Green Choice Medical-approved doctor.
The consultation is designed to give the doctor an opportunity to learn more about you and your medical condition in order to determine whether you suffer from a qualifying condition that allows you to obtain a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card.
When the consultation is complete, the doctor will submit the certification of your condition to the Department of Health, after which you can complete the registration process. If the doctor is unable to certify your condition and you’re not approved for a card, your Green Choice Medical service fee will be refunded.
Pay for Your ID Card
When the Department of Health receives certification from an approved physician, they’ll send you an email instructing you to return to their website to pay the state processing fee of $50. This fee is separate from any you pay for physician consultation.
Payment is the last step to get medical marijuana card online, and once complete, your card will be issued. It can take up to seven days to receive your card by mail.
How to Use a Medical Marijuana Online Card
Once you’ve registered and obtained your Pennsylvania medical marijuana card, you can legally purchase approved cannabis products from licensed dispensaries located throughout the state.
A number of different product types are available to choose from, but it’s important that you understand the rules regarding the possession, consumption, and transportation of these products in order to avoid legal headaches.
Registering for the state medical marijuana program and receiving an ID card infers certain protections. A valid ID protects you from arrest and prosecution if you are found with approved cannabis products on you, or you are given a drug test, for example.
However, these protections have limits. Here’s what you need to know when you start using your medical marijuana card to purchase cannabis.
Shop at Licensed Medical Marijuana Dispensary Locations
When medical marijuana was legalized in Pennsylvania, the law provided for a state licensing board to issue permits for up to 50 dispensaries, with each allowed to open and operate up to three dispensary locations. There are now well over 100 licensed dispensaries in the state catering to the needs of medical marijuana patients.
When you get medical marijuana card online, you can make purchases at any of these dispensaries. It used to be that you or a caregiver had to show up in person to make purchases — medical cannabis could only be dispensed inside a dispensary. However, restrictions were relaxed during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow curbside pickup.
The Proclamation of Disaster Emergency issued by Governor Tom Wolf in 2020 also allowed caregivers to temporarily deliver marijuana purchases to an unlimited number of patients, essentially making delivery to a patient’s door a possibility.
DOH-approved caregivers who register with the medical marijuana program can even have their name shared with patients seeking a caregiver, providing greater access and ease of mind for impaired or immunosuppressed patients.
Choose Preferred Products
Pennsylvania has very clear rules regarding the types of cannabis products that can be sold to patients who register for a medical marijuana online card.
Initially, this included provisions legalizing the sale and purchase of pills, oils, gels, topical creams and ointments, tinctures, and non-whole plant products meant for vaporization or nebulization. Dispensaries may not sell edibles.
However, many patients demanded access to whole plant products or flower strains, and the state complied by amending the law in 2018. Of course, there are still restrictions on how you can consume dry flower. Smoking is not allowed, but flower can be vaporized or mixed into food or beverages by consumers who purchase it.
Rules Regarding Possession
Because marijuana has not been legalized at the federal level, each state must devise its own rules regarding the cultivation, distribution, possession, and transportation of cannabis. Some states have legalized both medical and recreational products, while others don’t allow for either. Pennsylvania currently allows only medical marijuana.
In addition, states must determine how much product a patient or consumer may legally possess. This amount is often regulated by volume, such as by ounces of flower or milligrams of tinctures or edibles. However, Pennsylvania does it a little differently.
Once you’ve figured out how to get a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania, you may purchase up to a 90-day supply of your product or products of choice.
Originally, patients were only allowed to purchase a 30-day supply, but this was amended by 2021 legislation.
A pharmacist determines the dosage for each patient, which means individual patients could be eligible to purchase different amounts. Patient purchases are recorded to prevent exceeding legal limits.
Rules Regarding Consumption
In Pennsylvania, it’s illegal to smoke whole-plant cannabis, or flower. It is also illegal for dispensaries to sell edibles, but there’s nothing stopping patients from making and consuming their own.
It is illegal to consume cannabis, in any form or by any method, in public. You are only allowed to legally consume cannabis products in homes or private residences.
However, employers may allow employees with valid medical marijuana cards to consume products at work. They are not required to allow this, and it’s unlikely that many would, but it is a possibility.
Rules Regarding Transportation of Medical Marijuana
Anyone legally allowed to purchase or consume medical marijuana may transport it within the state, but it is not recommended for a couple of reasons. Naturally, you may have to transport products between dispensary locations and your residence, which could entail some distance if there are no dispensaries nearby.
However, if you get caught traveling in possession of cannabis, it should be in the original container, it must adhere to restrictions for possession, and you will have to provide a valid Pennsylvania medical marijuana card.
You’re not allowed to cross state lines or bring marijuana onto federal lands (including national parks), as marijuana has not been legalized federally. Such actions are considered to be federal offenses.
What if You’re Not Approved for a Medical Marijuana Online Card?
If you can prove a qualifying condition to the satisfaction of an approved doctor, you will be certified and allowed to complete your registration with the DOH. If you are not approved, Green Choice Medical will refund your service fee for the consultation. You can always try again at a later date or consult with a different physician. Our approval rate is over 99%.
Renewing Your Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Card
It’s not enough to know how to get a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania; if you have a chronic or long-term condition, you will need to know how to renew it. Your card is valid for one year from the date it was issued.
When your card is about to expire, the Pennsylvania DOH will contact you regarding renewal. You’ll receive two email notifications. The first will arrive 60 days before expiration, reminding you that it’s time to renew. This is a good time to contact Green Choice Medical to schedule a renewal consultation.
Your second DOH email is sent 30 days before your card expires, detailing renewal instructions and prompting you to make a payment by logging in to your existing profile.
Your deadline for payment is typically one week before your card expires, and if you miss it, your card will be deactivated. After your consultation, your doctor will submit a renewed certification, you can pay the state, and you will get a medical marijuana card online with an issue date for the day after your current card expires.
The Benefits of Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Online Card
Green Choice Medical is committed to making life easier for medical marijuana patients, primarily by providing access to a process that is completed remotely via telephone consultation and online registration. This process can save you time, money, and hassle over scheduling in-person doctor visits.
If you have any questions, we encourage you to contact us today or schedule your appointment to get the application process underway.