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Pennsylvania passed the “MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACT” (the Act) in April 2016, permitting growers/producers and dispensaries to provide cannabis for patients with specific medical conditions within the limitations specified in the Act. Also known as Act 16, the Act is overseen, implemented and regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Office of Medical Marijuana (OMM). The temporary regulations have been codified and shall remain in effect until 2018 or 2019 (depending on when released), when they may be revised and made permanent by the OMM. Kossovsky Law stays up to date on the Act’s and the regulations implemented by the OMM in order to properly and diligently represent clients in this area of law while adhering to strict state regulations and complying with Federal restrictions.

Notwithstanding the passage of the Act in Pennsylvania, the cultivation, manufacturing, transportation, sale, distribution, dispensation and possession of marijuana or cannabis violates Federal law. The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, 21 U.S.C. Section 801, et. Seq (1970) (“THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT”), categorizes marijuana as a ‘SCHEDULE I’ controlled substance. Schedule I drugs are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and a high potential for abuse. As such, while users, growers and dispensaries of medical marijuana who comply with the Act are protected from state criminal prosecution, their activities remain illegal under the Federal Controlled Substances Act and other related Federal statutes and regulations. As the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause pre-empts and voids state laws that conflict with Federal law, anyone awarded a license to grow, process and/or dispense medical marijuana in Pennsylvania may be subject to Federal drug raids, have assets seized, be subject to fines and other penalties and/or be incarcerated on Federal drug charges. Additionally, such person or company may not be able to take advantage of other Federal laws or regulations, such as filing for bankruptcy or may risk being charged with Federal tax evasion.

Kossovsky Law will counsel clients in this area of law with respect to Pennsylvania law.  Anyone entering into the medical cannabis business should consider obtaining separate legal counsel for advice with respect to Federal law issues, including Federal criminal issues. Kossovsky Law has an Of Counsel relationship with Hoban Law Group, a firm with attorneys licensed to practice law in other states and countries, who may be consulted with respect to those jurisdictions on behalf of clients should such need arise.  Kossovsky Law’s representation of a client in its pursuit of license(s) and compliance for the growing, processing and dispensing of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania under the Act relies on the current Federal policy.  Federal policy could change at any time and as a result of such policy change, Kossovsky Law reserves the right to terminate the representation of any clients working under the Act. 

No representation by Kossovsky Law PLLC or its affiliated attorneys should be construed to aid or abet anyone in the commission of a crime. 

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