Cannabis

Seth Weing / AP

Eight medical schools, including the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, have been approved by the state to do clinical research on medical marijuana, Gov. Tom Wolf announced this week.

The move is an important one, advocates say, because of how federal drug laws have hindered research into the medical benefits of cannabis over the years.

The state’s Department of Health chose the schools as Certified Research Centers in a competitive process, said J.J. Abbott, a spokesperson for the governor.

Small Businesses Grapple With Maze Of Conflicting Pot Laws

May 3, 2018
Ted S. Warren / AP

A low unemployment rate and the spreading legalization of marijuana have led many businesses to rethink their drug testing policies for the first time in decades.

420 Games

Pro-pot events used to be limited to rock concerts, but in the wake of legal medical marijuana, that is changing. Pittsburgh becomes the first city in the eastern U.S. this week to host the 420 Games, an event blending athletics with marijuana advocacy.

Marijuana-Friendly States, Including PA, Want Meeting With Sessions

Mar 30, 2018
David Goldman / AP

Pennsylvania, California and other marijuana-friendly states are seeking a meeting with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in hopes of resolving the conflict between federal and state laws that has left the nation's cannabis industry in legal limbo.

Marijuana is illegal at the federal level, even as 29 states have legalized pot in some form.

State treasurers from California, Oregon, Illinois and Pennsylvania told Sessions in a letter Thursday that businesses and banks need greater clarity on how federal law enforcement will respond to the growing legalization trend.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Pennsylvania's budding medical marijuana dispensaries have just about run out of pot.

Ryan Kang / AP

Stephen Arch, a 60-year-old filmmaker from Moon Township, is prescribed the drug Klonopin for his Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which he said stems from childhood trauma.

Ryan Kang / AP

More than 3,800 patients have registered for Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program in its first week.

Governor Tom Wolf says more than 200 caregivers have also registered for the program. He says the demand shows the "need for this vital medication."

A 2016 state law gives people under a doctor's care access to medical marijuana if they suffer from an illness on a list of 17 qualifying conditions.

The law permits pills, oils, vapor or liquid marijuana, but not marijuana in plant form.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

A ceremonial groundbreaking took place Thursday afternoon for a medical cannabis growing and processing facility coming to McKeesport.

eggrole / Flickr

Physicians in Pennsylvania can now register to participate in the state’s forthcoming medical marijuana program.

Seth Weing / AP

Some patients in Pennsylvania could be able to get prescriptions for medical marijuana early next year. In the meantime, many doctors, pharmacists and other health care providers have questions.

PA Gearing Up For Automated Medical Marijuana Grows

Jul 6, 2017
Franklin Labs, LLC

Pennsylvania is barreling towards a high tech medical cannabis industry, driven by automation, aeroponics and a lot of start-up capital.

Passed in April 2016, the law instituting the state's medical marijuana program puts growing a new industry from scratch on a tight timeline. The first dispensaries are slated to sell prescription cannabinoid oils, sprays and creams by early 2018, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Flickr user Global Panorama

PurePenn and AGRiMED Industries have been awarded licenses to grow and process medical marijuana in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

PurePenn is located in McKeesport; AgriMed is in Carmichaels in Greene County.

States Offer Breaks To Minority Marijuana Entrepreneurs

May 31, 2017
Eric Risberg / AP

Andre Shavers was sentenced to five years on felony probation after authorities burst into the house where he was living in one of Oakland's most heavily policed neighborhoods and found a quarter ounce of marijuana.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

 

State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Delaware, Montgomery) said he expects that medical marijuana will be available in plant form in dispensaries next year. Leach made the comments Friday afternoon during a panel discussion at the World Medical Cannabis Expo at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

An Aspinwall entrepreneur pitched his plan for a medical cannabis dispensary to residents of Lawrenceville and surrounding neighborhoods at a community meeting Monday night.

Jake Voelker, 32, originally from Erie, presented his plan as a way to help fellow veterans who are seeking an alternative or supplement to traditional medicine.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

When 15-year-old Ryan Briggs’ teacher, Nicole Wadsworth, comes to his house once a week, they work on the same skill he’s been trying to master for the last decade: pulling small plastic pegs out of a foam pegboard.

James St. John / Flickr

A group that supports the legalization of marijuana for medical use is responding to the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s stance against it.

Right now, cannabis is what’s called a Schedule 1 substance by the FDA, which means it can’t be used medically. Medical society physicians have said they won't endorse legalization until cannabis is classified as a schedule 2 drug, and they can research its effects.

Brett Levin / Flickr

 

Late last year, The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration announced it was easing requirements for FDA-approved clinical trials of cannabis. 

Johnny Lucus / Flickr

Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday introduced a bill that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, defined as 30 grams, or about an ounce.

Special series: This week we're exploring legislative action taken recently in Harrisburg on important bills that were overshadowed by the passage of the state budget.

For the first time bill to legalize medical marijuana has made it out of committee, and some state Senate members are confident that they can get it passed soon.