“Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program is about the patients suffering from one or more of the 17 serious medical conditions outlined in the law and the caregivers who provide them with extensive care as they suffer from their conditions,” acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said in a press release dated September 25.
The statement was made as the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) issued Temporary Regulations for Patients and Caregivers. The regulations provide that In order for patients and caregivers to obtain medical cannabis, they must register with the DOH. Caregivers will also be required to pass a criminal background check.
Like HIPPAA, information collected by the DOH about cardholders will be kept confidential. In addition to a criminal background check, the DOH will review the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database before approving an identification card application submitted by a caregiver. The DOH may deny an application if the caregiver has a history of drug abuse or of diverting controlled substances or illegal drugs.
Furthermore, The Pennsylvania Justice Network — a coalition of 16 Pennsylvania law enforcement agencies integrated to provides a common online environment for authorized users to access public safety and criminal justice information— will also be able to check with the DOH to validate a card for authenticity. While the Pennsylvania Justice Network, will not have access to confidentially held patient records or registry, it will notify the DOH if a cardholder is convicted of a criminal drug offense relating to the sale or possession of drugs, narcotics or controlled substances after being approved as a patient or a caregiver.
For questions related to this post please contact Catia Kossovsky