Who’s Bending Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Laws? Health Dept Sues Spotlight PA To Keep Data Secret

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is again suing Spotlight PA in an effort to prevent information about how patients obtain their medical marijuana (MMJ) cards from going public.

The health department does not want to reveal how often individual physicians approve patients for the MMJ program, which could help ascertain the doctors who could be bending or breaking the state’s rules. It is data the health department does not want to be revealed even though it does not include patients’ names, writes Spotlight PA.

Despite being ordered by the PA Office of Open Records, the health department refused and has appealed to the Commonwealth Court, delaying access to the records for several months, if not permanently.

“Data can point to successes and it can also point to failures, and those are things we need to address in policy. And if we can’t understand how the law is working by inspecting its data, it’s very hard to advocate for change where it’s necessary, ” Melissa Melewsky, media law counsel for the PA NewsMedia Association told the outlet.

Recent Cannabis Developments in PA

  • The state’s Department of Health in November launched a program offering $50 a month in financial assistance to help nearly 1,400 senior citizens afford the cost of medical marijuana.

  • Pennsylvania lawmakers seek to allow farmers to grow medical cannabis. Reps. Melissa Shusterman and Ismail Smith-Wade-El revealed in a memo sent to the chamber’s members on February 13, their intention to file a measure that would enable new growers to enter the space. Under the bill, farmers and other small agricultural businesses would have an opportunity to apply for cultivating and selling medical marijuana to growers and processors that already operate statewide.

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Photo: Benzinga edit with photo by Kindel Media on Pexels


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