Pubdate: Wed, 08 Jun 2016
Source: Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, PA)
Copyright: 2016 The Standard-Speaker
Author: Robert Swift


HARRISBURG - Children with serious medical conditions will have first 
access to legal medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, possibly as soon 
as next month, state Health Secretary Karen Murphy said Wednesday.

Murphy, R.N., Ph.D., a Scranton native, outlined the department's 
plans to write temporary regulations so those children under the age 
of 18 and their caregivers can obtain medical marijuana in other 
states where it's legal while Pennsylvania's new medical marijuana 
law is fully implemented.

The regulations to be issued in July will spell out how they can 
obtain ID cards so they can purchase marijuana from dispensaries in 
other states and not run afoul of current Pennsylvania law.

The aim is to bring relief as quickly as possible to children 
suffering from such conditions as epilepsy and seizures, said Murphy 
at a press briefing.

"Their day-to-day life is severely challenged," she said.

The medical marijuana law enacted in April after a half-dozen years 
of legislative debate allows use for patients certified by a doctor 
with a range of conditions, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, 
epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, autism, Huntington's disease, 
post-traumatic stress disorder and spinal cord damages.

The law has numerous provisions to control and regulate medical 
marijuana from the growing stage to its legal use as an oil, pill or liquid.

The regulation involving younger patients and out-ofstate access is 
just one of a set of regulations being developed during the next 18 
months to two years. Meanwhile, the department plans to hire a 
medical marijuana program director by July in addition to filling 
other positions.

"What we are doing is implementing a new industry in Pennsylvania," 
Murphy said. "We want to be sure this is a patient-centered program. 
It is a very complex process."

She described it as comparable to licensing slots casinos a decade ago.

Another priority is writing temporary regulations so medical 
marijuana growers and processors can obtain licenses and start to 
produce products.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom