Hearing Reviews Medical Marijuana Program, Shows Need for Shift in Oversight when Adult-Use Legalized

At a hearing held on Monday the Senate Law and Justice Committee heard from medical marijuana industry professionals and advocates, including patients, physicians, and former regulators from neighboring states, about the oversight of the Medical Marijuana Program and how a new, independent entity is needed, especially as Pennsylvania moves towards legalizing adult-use marijuana.

Chairman Mike Regan (R-31) said the committee’s third and final hearing on forming an adult-use market in Pennsylvania focuses on the successes and failures of the Department of Health’s Office of Medical Marijuana.

“I appreciate learning more about this, so that we can help Pennsylvania’s 600,000 medical cannabis patients and caregivers while also formulating an oversight structure for adult-use that will be well-regarded for its desire and ability to work with the industry and advocate for its success,” Regan said. “Legalization of adult-use cannabis is a complex and obviously, controversial issue, so we are grateful for the many perspectives, personal experiences, and opinions we have received.”

Hearing participants said Pennsylvania must update its program to better reflect emerging trends and understanding of how medical cannabis works best – from eliminating the list of approved medical conditions to solidifying regulations and to hiring more knowledgeable, communicative staff.

“It is clear that we cannot maintain the current oversight authority for an adult-use cannabis program,” Regan said. “Unless the Office of Medical Marijuana is going to take action to address some of the issues raised today, we need to act sooner rather than later to establish an adult-use program and a new regulatory agency.” 

CONTACT: Bruce McLanahan, 717-787-8524

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