Can I Go to a Dispensary Without a Medical Card in Pennsylvania?
Medical marijuana has been available in in Pennsylvania since 2017. As the public stigma fades, more people are interested in trying this alternative therapy for various conditions. One of the most common questions we get is whether you can go to a dispensary without a medical card. Some patients are concerned about the cost of a card, others worry about privacy, and some are just nervous or embarrassed to speak to a physician about wanting to try medical marijuana.
In order to enter a dispensary, you DO need a valid medical card. Unfortunately, to buy medicinal marijuana, you also need cash as the dispensaries do not accept medical insurance or credit cards. The good news is that the process of getting a card is easy, private (HIPPA compliant), and affordable when you choose Cannabis Care Consultants. We provide the easiest online scheduling and convenient telehealth appointments that you join by simply clicking the link we send to your email. Our goal is to make it easy and convenient for you to access medical marijuana evaluations, because we understand the power of holistic treatment.
Here’s an overview of the application process, who can enter a dispensary and what to expect from your visit.
How to get a medical card?
You can register for a medical card online via the Medical Marijuana Registry. You are required to have a valid Pennsylvania state identification card or a driver’s license; if you are under 18 without valid identification, you can have a caregiver apply for a medical card on your behalf.
Anyone applying for a medical card need to suffer from one of the 23 approved conditions. These range from anxiety and PTSD to Tourette’s syndrome and terminal illnesses. To verify this, you’ll need to visit an approved provider in Pennsylvania, like Cannabis Care Consultants. We offer simple, convenient telehealth appointments. Our doctor with guide you through the process with kindness and respect. If approved, your medical provider will complete your certification during the appointment.
You will need to pay a $50 fee to the state (waived for qualifying patients), who will then issue and send you your medical card. The card is good for up to one year, and you will receive a notice to renew approximately 30 days before it expires.
Who can enter a dispensary with and without a card?
Any person who wants to enter a dispensary must have a medical card—which cannot be substituted with photocopies, screenshots, other replicas or receipts showing you are in possession of the card. Make sure to have the original to you so that you don’t waste a trip.
There are two exceptions to this rule: first, children under 18 may enter the dispensary as long as they are accompanied by an adult with a valid medical or caregiver card. Second, registered caregivers are allowed to pick up products on behalf of others, even if they don’t have their own medical card, but they must show their caregiver card.
What to expect from your dispensary visit
During your first visit to a dispensary, you’ll need to have both your Pennsylvania state ID or driver’s license as well as your medical card. For all other visits, you will only need your medical card.
- You’ll see security guards at the door who will check your card before allowing you in. Next, you may be asked if you’d like a consultation. If this is your first time using medical marijuana, it’s a good idea to take them up on the offer.
- The technician will ask you questions about your condition(s) and learn more about your preferences and what you’re hoping to achieve. For example, if you’re having trouble sleeping, you may get a different recommendation than someone who is dealing with neurodegenerative diseases. Dispensaries also have trained pharmacists on site during hours of operation. Patients can call ahead and schedule a consultation to discuss goals of care and product recommendations.
- Unlike regular stores, medical dispensaries are required to serve only one customer at a time. Depending on how busy it is, you may find yourself waiting to be helped—this is normal, so budget enough time so you’re not rushing to your next appointment.
- Once you’ve gone through your consultation and have waited to be served, you’ll be called for your turn. A technician will assist you in finding what you need and make recommendations. They will talk to you about the various side effects you may experience, recommended dosage and how it should help achieve your goals.
- Be sure to ask them questions, especially as a new patient. The more you know about the different products and varieties available, the better you’ll be able to make informed purchases. You won’t be able to open the products or test anything out in the dispensary, due to Pennsylvania state law.
- You are also required to pay in cash, although some dispensaries can accept debit cards for a small fee. Plan ahead so that you have sufficient funds.
Getting a medical marijuana card is convenient, not complicated, when you schedule an appointment with Cannabis Care Consultants. Visit us online to get started on your initial or renewal visit.
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