Enola, Pennsylvania – A line of vehicles wrapped around the block at Organic Remedies just before 1 p.m. this afternoon. This location near Interstate 81 is one of the medical marijuana dispensaries that remain open during the coronavirus pandemic to serve the state’s more than 147,000 registered patients.
Patients can now use online ordering to accelerate the dispensing process. In Enola, patients were taking advantage of a convenient curbside pickup service.
Provisions for medical marijuana have been temporarily suspended, including ones that limit the number of patients a caregiver might have in order to provide someone with medical marijuana and another that eliminates background checks for caregiver applications, according to a press release from the Department of Health.
“In the midst of COVID-19, we need to ensure medical marijuana patients have access to medication,” Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said in the press release. “Medical marijuana grower/processors and dispensaries are considered life-sustaining businesses under the Governor’s order for nonlife-sustaining businesses to close. We want to be sure cardholders in the medical marijuana program can receive medication for one of 23 serious medical conditions during this difficult time.”
Caregivers will now be able to handle more patients without a cap on the number in order to allow for more patients to receive help. The caregivers will also no longer face limits on how much medical marijuana in 30 days “by requiring practitioners to notate on the patient’s certification to dispense a 90-day supply,” according to the release. There will also be an elimination of background checks for caregivers looking for a renewal to allow for more caregivers to apply.
Meanwhile in Pennsylvania the state run liquor stores have closed indefinitely in accordance with the governor’s orders. Beer distributors remain open.