What you need to know about medical marijuana in PA
The drug known for lighting up controversy across the country is now making history locally, as Pennsylvania's Governor Tom Wolf signs medical marijuana into law Sunday.
"Of course people aren't gonna be out smoking marijuana.the only form that they'll get of marijuana is pill cream or oil," said legal expert Matthew Mangino
Under the law, patients with one of 17 specific medical conditions would need a doctor's recommendation for a medical marijuana ID card.
"It's not like you can prescribe it for a sore back. I mean you have to have either cancer, ALS, chronic pain PTSD just to name a few," said Mangino.
The law goes into effect in May, but Pennsylvanians won't see any obvious signs of medical marijuana in the near future.
"It's gonna take about 18 months for all of the regulations to roll out here," said Mangino.
Lawmaker say medical marijuana cannot be sold at pharmacies, so it will take some time for 50 growers to obtain licenses to open nearly 100 dispensaries statewide.
And the licenses aren't cheap ringing in at 200 thousand dollars.
But not everyone will have to wait for the program to grow in PA.
"They actually wrote a provision in the law that says if you're a child in need of medical marijuana you have this safe haven, you can go to another state and get it during this 18 month period and this roll out happens," said Mangino.
The law also makes it legal for the state to tax medical marijuana.
And while the price of the drug isn't clear, patients will have to pay for it out of their own pocket.
Mangino says marijuana is not FDA approved meaning health insurance companies are not required to pay for it.