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What better way to access the medicine you need than to grow it yourself? Many states across the U.S. allow medical marijuana patients to grow their own cannabis. Now, one northeastern commonwealth might be joining that list. Pennsylvania cannabis laws are progressing and patients may soon be able to take part in their own weed cultivation.
Cannabis cultivation brings the dispensary to you, removing issues of accessibility and cost, while allowing you to be specific about the weed you consume. Pennsylvania lawmakers are fighting to bring these benefits to the state and residents are optimistic about the outcome. So let’s get our hands dirty – what are Pennsylvania’s cultivation laws currently? Can you grow weed in Pennsylvania?
Current Cannabis Cultivation Laws in PA
Currently, growing weed at home in PA, even with no intention of selling it, is a felony punishable by one to three years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. If it’s your first offense, you may just receive probation. (Growing/processing to sell is a whole different story.)
Pennsylvania lawmakers have been trying to change home cultivation laws since last year. In June of 2021, the Pennsylvania Senate defeated an at-home weed cultivation bill that would have allowed MMJ patients to grow their own plants. Now, a similar bill is on the table – but this bill may face a different fate. PA residents want to know: can you grow weed in Pennsylvania yet?
LEARN MORE: Everything You Need to Know About Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program
Pennsylvania’s New Cannabis Cultivation Bill
In January 2022, Pennsylvania Senators Dan Laughlin and Sharif Street introduced the Medical Marijuana Home Cultivation Bill. The bill would allow medical marijuana patients to cultivate their own plants for personal use.
According to the bill, registered patients who are at least 21 and have been a resident of the state for at least 30 days, could grow up to six plants in an “enclosed and locked space” in their home. Cultivating weed plants would start with purchasing seeds from licensed dispensaries.
Senators Laughlin and Street believe the bill will help medical marijuana patients with cannabis accessibility and cost. In a press release, Senator Laughlin said that patients have to travel more than two hours to reach a dispensary in some cases. The Pennsylvania Health Department confirmed this with “mounting data illustrating significant disparities in accessibility.”
He adds that growing weed at home is the “only solution” for some patients.
Pennsylvania Cannabis Laws
Is marijuana legal in Pennsylvania yet? Marijuana in Pennsylvania is illegal for recreational use, but possession of small amounts is decriminalized in many of the state’s largest cities. Outside of these states (which include Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Erie), possession could lead to a misdemeanor and up to a year of jail time. But Pennsylvania marijuana legalization for recreational use may also be on the brink of change.
At the beginning of 2022, a Pennsylvania Senate committee held a legislative hearing about the possible legalization of recreational marijuana. The process has just begun, but some lawmakers believe that the state should spend more time testing out medical marijuana before diving into recreational use.
Representatives are saying that this would help with safety issues regarding weed purchased illegally and would also create revenue to help communities.
Governor Wolf legalized medical marijuana in Pennsylvania on April 6, 2016, but the new law didn’t allow cultivating weed plants at home. The state opened dispensaries at the beginning of 2018, finally making MMJ available for PA patients.
How to Get Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania marijuana laws state that the first step to access medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is to register online, creating a profile in the Medical Marijuana Registry. Then, you will need a physician’s certification. (Elevate Holistics can connect you with a cannabis physician and help you through the process.)
After approval, MMJ cardholders will be able to purchase cannabis products from any dispensary in the state. By the end of last year, the state had reached 131 dispensaries.
For your own safety, stick to the dispensaries for purchasing weed until growing weed in Pennsylvania is legalized. After all, the distribution of marijuana could lead to a misdemeanor or felony depending on the amount, jail time, and thousands of dollars in fines.
Learn about medical cannabis in PA by clicking here.
Benefits to Growing Your Own Weed
Soon, you might not have to worry about making trips to the dispensary at all. Weed cultivation in your home brings all the perks to you, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Cultivating weed plants can be for anyone, and there are many benefits to choosing to do so.
- Save money: The few basics you need to get started will probably equal a typical dispensary visit. After that, all you’ll be doing is saving money. You can even use seeds from your pollinated plant to create more plants.
- Easy access: If you keep up the growing, you will never run out of weed. No more late night dispensary runs, your medicine will be right in your home.
- Stay fully informed about the product: By cultivating your own weed, you’ll never have to wonder about possible pesticides or chemical treatments used in growing the plant. This way, you have full control.
- Choose from a wider variety of strains: The dispensary doesn’t have everything. When you grow weed at home, you can do all the research you want to find the strain that is best for you. All you have to do is obtain the seeds.
- Create your own cannabis products: You can create any cannabis product you want with the marijuana you grow. Cannabis products, like edibles and topicals, are limited to what is available at the dispensary. When you grow your own weed, you can put anything you want in your cannabis products.
How to Grow Weed at Home
If Pennsylvania cannabis laws change to allow weed cultivation at home, PA residents will need to know how to do it. Growing weed at home requires seeds, a container for the plant, soil, light to keep the plant warm, ventilation, water, fertilizer, and nutrient solution.
Cultivating weed plants can be done indoors or outdoors. However, most state laws – including the Pennsylvania bill – only allow for it to be done indoors in an enclosed area. Growing weed indoors cuts out unpredictability and allows for the same year-round conditions.
You’ll need to pick a space in your home that can get a little weed smelly, has outlets for lights and fans, and where the temperature can be controlled. Conduct extensive research before starting your cultivation journey and you’ll be good to go. After you’ve grown and harvested your cannabis, make sure you know how to cure it.
Get Your Grow On With Elevate Holistics
So can you grow weed in Pennsylvania yet? When the time comes for a change in Pennsylvania cannabis laws, growing weed at home could become a great option for many patients. But before you start your cannabis cultivation journey, you must first have your medical marijuana card. Luckily, the process is easier than you think.
From helping you receive your MMJ card to endless marijuana advice, Elevate Holistics is here for you. The process is quick, painless, and affordable – oh, and did we mention it is all online?
If you’re ready to get your own PA MMJ card, click the scheduler below to get started.