A group of bipartisan senators in Pennsylvania have introduced a measure to expand Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program by allowing patients aged 21 years and older to cultivate cannabis plants at home for personal use. The measure would allow registered medical marijuana patients in the state to grow up to six cannabis plants at home in a locked and enclosed location away from “ordinary public view.” Furthermore, it would grant medical cannabis dispensaries the right to sell cannabis seeds for home cultivation to registered patients.
Introduced by Senators Dan Laughlin and Sharif Street alongside half a dozen other senators, the bill does not seem to limit the total number of cannabis plants that could be cultivated in a home with more than one registered medical cannabis patient.
The measure has now been sent to the Senate Law and Justice Committee. Street and Laughlin said that since Pennsylvania legalized medical cannabis in 2016, the state’s medical cannabis program has ensured citizens across the Commonwealth can access lifesaving medicine. In a memo soliciting cosponsors for their medical cannabis home cultivation bill, the two senators wrote that while Pennsylvania’s MMJ industry has undoubtedly been beneficial, it is still inefficient in terms of access and cost.
They noted that records from the PA Department of Health show that some patients have to travel for more than two hours to access a medical cannabis dispensary, making the treatment unfeasible for a lot of Pennsylvanians. Furthermore, the senators wrote, medical cannabis patients in the state have long complained of the high costs of purchasing medical marijuana that make the treatment even more inaccessible.
The two stressed the importance of creating policies that “meet people where they are,” adding that legalizing home cultivation of medical cannabis would address the key issues of accessibility and cost that bog down Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana industry. It would also ensure that Pennsylvania residents have better means of meeting their health needs and are treated fairly and equitably under the state’s medical cannabis law.
As per the proposed measure, patients who cultivate more than the allowed number of cannabis plants or gift cannabis plants or products to other people may be liable to punishments, such as the loss of their home cultivation rights.
Laughlin and Street had introduced a recreational cannabis legalization bill last session, but it ultimately failed to advance. However, the two senators say the medical cannabis home cultivation bill is a significant improvement to the recreational cannabis bill, and they are optimistic about its chances of success.
With more people turning to medical marijuana to ease their symptoms in different jurisdictions, the marijuana-based formulations being developed by enterprises such as IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) could have a large market to address, especially among those who want the medical benefits marijuana can bring minus running the associated risks, such as job losses due to positive drugs tests.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to IGC Pharma Inc. (NYSE American: IGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/IGC
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