In this Feb. 7, 2014 photo, a small clone of a special strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte’s Web grows at a facility in a remote spot in the mountains west of Colorado Springs, Colo. Charlotte’s Web is a proprietary strain of marijuana in which the psychoactive THC has largely been bred out, and the other cannabinoid compounds thought to be medically useful accentuated. Increasing anecdotal evidence that the pot strain is helping some children with epilepsy has led more than 100 families to relocate to Colorado for treatment since last summer, when success stories about Charlotte’s Web began circulating via social media. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
Pennsylvania health officials on Wednesday announced the availability of a registry for physicians who want to be able to prescribe medical marijuana for their patients. They called it the “first step” in the process.
Doctors who want to prescribe medical marijuana, in addition to having a medical license and good professional standing, must complete a four-hour training program.
The state health department said it has surveyed doctors regarding their willingness to participate in the program, which will allow medical marijuana to be prescribed to treat about 20 medical conditions. It said 75 percent of the 191 doctors surveyed plan to participate.
Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania’s physician general and acting secretary of health said in a news release, “Many physicians treat these patients [who would benefit from medical marijuana] every day and understand the impact this medication could have on their treatment. Once these physicians register and complete the required continuing education, they can be approved to participate in the program.”
Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana in May of 2016. Since then, the state has accomplished tasks including devising regulations, issuing permits to 12 growers/processors and 27 dispensaries and awarding a contract to a firm that will electronically track medical marijuana. Medical marijuana is expected to become available in 2018.