The Department of Health has expanded financial assistance available through the Medical Marijuana Assistance Program (MMAP) and announced the ninth clinical enrollee of the Medical Marijuana Research Program.
“The department is pleased to be able to expand assistance to medical marijuana patients and caregivers who may be experiencing financial hardship,” Acting Health Secretary Keara Klinepeter said. “Patients deserve access to their medications to treat medical conditions and cost shouldn’t be a barrier.”
With the enactment of Law 44 of 2021, the department was able to add new services that help provide assistance to medical marijuana patients and caregivers. In order to provide support as quickly as possible, the expansion of MMAP is taking place in three phases:
- Phase 1 will eliminate the annual ID card fee for eligible participants enrolled in an existing Commonwealth Financial Hardship Scheme.
- Phase 2 will eliminate all background check fees for eligible caregivers.
- Phase 3 will distribute a benefit amount to be determined per funding period per eligible patient.
Phases 1 and 2 have been implemented. Phase 3 implementation is ongoing while the infrastructure and support system to run is being developed.
The clinical research program, guided by Law 43 of 2018 and amended by Law 44 of 2021, allows 10 clinical registrants who must each hold both a producer/processor license and a dispensary license, as well as a contract research with one of nine approved university clinics. research centers.
The department announced that there are now nine clinical registrants. The newly approved clinical registration holder is Story of PA CR, LLC., which is licensed to work with the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. This clinical holder will have a producer/processor in the South West region and will initially have two dispensaries – one in the North East region and one in the South East region.
“The department continues to grow and support clinical research opportunities for the medical marijuana program,” Klinepeter said. “This research is essential to provide physicians with more evidence-based information to make clinical decisions for their patients. It is the cornerstone of our program and the key to our patient-focused clinical program for people with approved critical illnesses.
As of February 24, 2022, over 729,000 patients and caregivers are enrolled in the program and eligible to obtain medical marijuana for any of 23 serious medical conditions. Over 1,700 physicians are licensed practitioners.
One hundred and fifty-five dispensaries are open and dispensing products to patients. Thirty-three growers/processors are operational, 28 of which ship medical marijuana products to dispensaries across the Commonwealth.
For more information about the Medical Marijuana Program, visit www.medicalmarijuana.pa.gov. To learn more about MMAP, please visit the MMAP website.