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Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog



Published by Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Criminal Defense and Fraud Defense Attorney Marc Neff



Updated: 2018-01-03T09:00:52Z

 



CHOOSE ONE: MEDICAL MARIJUANA OR GUN OWNERSHIP

2018-01-02T21:39:47Z

Some sick people will have to make a difficult decision: Is taking the medicine they are legally allowed to obtain under state law worth surrendering their constitutional right to keep and bear arms? You can be an alcoholic, addicted to prescription drugs or have been voluntarily committed to a mental institute and still purchase a […] The post CHOOSE ONE: MEDICAL MARIJUANA OR GUN OWNERSHIP appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog. Some sick people will have to make a difficult decision: Is taking the medicine they are legally allowed to obtain under state law worth surrendering their constitutional right to keep and bear arms? You can be an alcoholic, addicted to prescription drugs or have been voluntarily committed to a mental institute and still purchase a firearm under federal law. However, if you obtain a medical marijuana card to treat an illness, you are forbidden under federal law to purchase or own a firearm. Twenty nine states including Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware have legalized marijuana in some form. However, under federal law, all forms of marijuana remain strictly forbidden. The Drug Enforcement Agency considers it a Schedule 1 drug, the same category as heroin and LSD, with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” The 9th United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the federal prohibition does not violate the Second Amendment. Currently, there are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if it is sanctioned under state law. The issue can arise when an individual applies to purchase a firearm. A background check would be conducted by the state police and the federal government. If you are a medical marijuana cardholder, you would be flagged and denied. Moreover, on the application forms required by the United States Department of Justice, they will ask if you are an unlawful user of marijuana. If you check “yes”, you would be immediately disqualified. If you were to check “no” and it was discovered you have the medical marijuana card, you would have committed a separate crime by not answering the form truthfully. Additionally, it is unlawful to keep possession of firearms obtained prior to registering for medical marijuana. People contemplating obtaining a medical marijuana card who have firearms or are interested in purchasing firearms should speak to an attorney to consider their options and the potential consequences. For more than thirty years, the Law Offices of Marc Neff has been defending the rights of individuals and corporations facing serious criminal charges. Throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and elsewhere, Mr. Neff has successfully defended clients charged with white-collar crimes such as mail fraud and bank fraud, RICO, drug distribution, money laundering, sex crimes and other serious offenses. Mr. Neff and his staff are often consulted on matters involving medical marijuana. If you have been charged with a crime or believe your rights may have been violated, please contact the Law Offices of Marc Neff for a confidential consultation: 215-563-9800 or via email at marc@nefflawoffices.com. The post CHOOSE ONE: MEDICAL MARIJUANA OR GUN OWNERSHIP appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog. [...]



Massachusetts Court Protects Medical Marijuana Use by Employees

2017-08-02T14:20:10Z

Massachusetts’ highest court ruled that employers cannot fire employees who have a prescription to use medical marijuana with the sole reason being the employee’s use of the drug. The case arose from the firing of a prescribed patient of medical marijuana testing positive for marijuana on a company drug test. She had just been hired and […] The post Massachusetts Court Protects Medical Marijuana Use by Employees appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog. Massachusetts’ highest court ruled that employers cannot fire employees who have a prescription to use medical marijuana with the sole reason being the employee’s use of the drug. The case arose from the firing of a prescribed patient of medical marijuana testing positive for marijuana on a company drug test. She had just been hired and made the company aware of her medical marijuana use, which the company had said should not be an issue. However, during her second day at the job she was fired for the failed drug test. The employee sought a legal remedy, eventually being heard on appeal by the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts. The Court found that the employee did not have an implied statutory cause of action under the medical marijuana act, but could seek a civil remedy against her employer through claims of handicap discrimination. Massachusetts handicap discrimination law provides that it is “unlawful practice . . . [f]or any employer . . . to dismiss from employment or refuse to hire . . . , because of [her] handicap, any person alleging to be a qualified handicapped person, capable of performing the essential functions of the position involved with reasonable accommodation, unless the employer can demonstrate that the accommodation required to be made to the physical or mental limitations of the person would impose an undue hardship to the employer’s business.” The employer argued the firing was justified because marijuana is illegal under federal law and allowing the employee to smoke marijuana, even during non-working hours exceeded the “reasonable accommodation” requirement in the handicap discrimination law. The Court responded by stating the only person at risk of federal criminal prosecution for possession of marijuana is the employee, not the employer. The Court recognized the use and possession of medical marijuana is the same as the possession and use of any other prescribed medicine under Massachusetts law. The Court found it akin to telling a diabetic that their use of insulin was a violation of company policy. If the employer can demonstrate that making the accommodation would create an undue hardship for the company then the employee could effectively be denied employment solely because of their use of medical marijuana. However, when this case is heard in trial court it is unlikely an undue hardship will be found. The only accommodation is to allow the employee to use medical marijuana outside of work hours. What is deemed an undue hardship will be determined on a case-to-case basis. This is a win for medical marijuana users in Massachusetts, however, how the courts will determine what is considered an undue hardship in these types of cases is yet to be seen. For more than thirty years, the Law Offices of Marc Neff has been defending the rights of individuals and corporations facing serious criminal charges. Throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and elsewhere, Mr. Neff has successfully defended clients charged with white-collar crimes such as mail fraud and bank fraud, RICO, drug distribution, money laundering, sex crimes and other serious offenses. If you have been charged with a crime or believe your rights may have been violated, please contact the Law Offices of Marc Neff for a confidential consultation: 215-563-9800 or via email at marc@nefflawoffices.com. The post Massachusetts Court Protects Medical Marijuana Use by Employees appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog. [...]



Pennsylvania Doctors Now Able to Register to Provide Medical Marijuana Prescriptions

2017-08-02T14:19:53Z

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana industry continued to progress forward with the announcement of the practitioner registry becoming operational. The practitioner registry will allow Pennsylvania doctors to register to obtain the necessary training required for them to begin writing medical marijuana prescriptions to qualified patients. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in order to participate in […] The post Pennsylvania Doctors Now Able to Register to Provide Medical Marijuana Prescriptions appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog. Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana industry continued to progress forward with the announcement of the practitioner registry becoming operational. The practitioner registry will allow Pennsylvania doctors to register to obtain the necessary training required for them to begin writing medical marijuana prescriptions to qualified patients. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in order to participate in the Medical Marijuana Program, a physician must: • Apply to the department to be registered with the program. • Demonstrate to the department by training or expertise that he or she is qualified in treating serious medical conditions. • Successfully complete the required four-hour course established by the department. • Hold a valid, unexpired, unrevoked, unsuspended Pennsylvania license to practice medicine. The four-hour course will include the latest scientific research on medical marijuana, including the risks and benefits of using medical marijuana and other information deemed necessary by the department. The physicians can be approved to participate in the medical marijuana industry once they register and complete the continuing education requirements. Once the doctors are approved they will be able to write medical marijuana prescriptions to patients suffering from one of the seventeen serious medical conditions recognized by the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act. These conditions include cancer, Crohn’s disease, and epilepsy. Patients who are prescribed medical marijuana by a registered doctor will then be able to obtain a medical marijuana identification card, enabling them to purchase medical marijuana at a state dispensary. The Pennsylvania Department of Health intends to establish and maintain an electronic database listing the physicians that are registered with the program. The State hopes to have its’ medical marijuana industry fully up and running in 2018. For more than thirty years, the Law Offices of Marc Neff has been defending the rights of individuals and corporations facing serious criminal charges. Throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and elsewhere, Mr. Neff has successfully defended clients charged with white-collar crimes such as mail fraud and bank fraud, RICO, drug distribution, money laundering, sex crimes and other serious offenses. If you have been charged with a crime or believe your rights may have been violated, please contact the Law Offices of Marc Neff for a confidential consultation: 215-563-9800 or via email at marc@nefflawoffices.com. The post Pennsylvania Doctors Now Able to Register to Provide Medical Marijuana Prescriptions appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog. [...]



Colorado Court Says Alert from Drug Sniffing Dog is No Longer Enough to Search Car

2017-07-31T13:29:21Z

In 2012, the State of Colorado made it legal, both criminally and civilly, for any person 21 years of age or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use. A recent decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals provides further protection for marijuana users in Colorado. In The People of the […] The post Colorado Court Says Alert from Drug Sniffing Dog is No Longer Enough to Search Car appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog. In 2012, the State of Colorado made it legal, both criminally and civilly, for any person 21 years of age or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use. A recent decision by the Colorado Court of Appeals provides further protection for marijuana users in Colorado. In The People of the State of Colorado v. McKnight, the court addressed the issue of whether or not the deployment of a police dog, trained to detect marijuana, to sniff a legitimately stopped vehicle constituted a “search” in relation to the constitutional prohibitions against unreasonable searches. If the answer to this question were yes, Colorado law enforcement would not be able to deploy the above mentioned dog without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. This case arose when the defendant, McKnight, was charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. A Colorado police officer spotted McKnight’s truck, with him in it, parked in front of a house where illegal drugs were discovered around 7 weeks earlier. The officer followed McKnight from the house and eventually pulled him over for not using a turn signal. The officer said he recognized the passenger of McKnight’s truck because of prior dealings with her and her use of methamphetamine. The officer called another officer to the scene with his certified drug detection dog. The dog is trained to detect cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, methamphetamine, and marijuana. The dog indicated (typically by barking) that he detected the odor of one of these substances and subsequently a pipe containing white residue was found in McKnight’s truck. After a motion to suppress was denied, a jury convicted McKnight of both counts. On appeal, the court emphasized that the drug detection dog was trained to indicate a detection of marijuana, a legal drug in Colorado, no differently than any of the illegal drugs the dog is trained to detect. The court reasoned that a drug sniff could result in an alert for something that a person has a legitimate expectation of privacy for under Colorado law, which is the possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana for personal use. Therefore, the court held that because a dog sniff could infringe upon a persons’ legitimate expectation of privacy, the dog sniff should be considered a “search” where occupants are 21 years of age or older. The court next stated that “reasonable suspicion” is the Colorado Constitutional standard that applies to warrantless searches conducted by dog sniffs of the exterior of a vehicle. Therefore, a signal from a drug detection dog can no longer be the sole reason to search a vehicle in Colorado. In McKnight’s case, in order to subject McKnight’s vehicle to a dog sniff, the police had to have grounds to reasonably suspect that evidence of illegal activity would be discovered in the vehicle. After applying the standard, the court held that the police lacked the requisite reasonable suspicion to have a dog sniff McKnight’s truck. Therefore, the methamphetamine recovered from the vehicle should have been suppressed. McKnight’s conviction was reversed and remanded back to the lower court. It is important to note that this case only applies to Colorado law enforcement and not to any federal law enforcement agency. For more than thirty years, the Law Offices of Marc Neff has been defending the rights of individuals and corporations facing serious criminal charges. Throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and elsewhere, Mr. Neff has successfully defend[...]



Medical Marijuana Dispensary Permits Awarded

2017-07-20T16:06:46Z

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has announced the names of the twenty-seven medical marijuana dispensaries that were granted permits. The dispensaries will receive their product from one of the twelve businesses that were awarded medical marijuana growing permits in Pennsylvania. The dispensaries will then supply the qualified medical marijuana patients. In order to qualify for […]

The post Medical Marijuana Dispensary Permits Awarded appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has announced the names of the twenty-seven medical marijuana dispensaries that were granted permits. The dispensaries will receive their product from one of the twelve businesses that were awarded medical marijuana growing permits in Pennsylvania. The dispensaries will then supply the qualified medical marijuana patients. In order to qualify for medical marijuana you must get a certification from a doctor and have one of the seventeen serious medical conditions identified by the department.

Although there were just twenty-seven medical marijuana dispensary permits granted in the state, each of the permit holders is allowed to open three locations. However, the total amount of dispensaries expected to be opened is fifty-two because some permit holders are opting not to open additional locations. These additional locations that permit holders are permitted to open are considered secondary locations. The one restriction placed on these secondary locations is they cannot be located in the same county as the primary dispensary.

There were 280 applications for dispensary permits with a $5,000 non-refundable dispensary application fee. Notably, Philadelphia will have four dispensaries after there were no growing permits issued in the county the week before.

Just as the growers, the dispensaries will have six months to become operational or risk their permit being revoked. The expected start of a fully operational medical marijuana industry in the Commonwealth is 2018.

For more than thirty years, the Law Offices of Marc Neff has been defending the rights of individuals and corporations facing serious criminal charges. Throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and elsewhere, Mr. Neff has successfully defended clients charged with white-collar crimes such as mail fraud and bank fraud, RICO, drug distribution, money laundering, sex crimes and other serious offenses.

If you have been charged with a crime and believe your rights may have been violated, please contact the Law Offices of Marc Neff for a confidential consultation: 215-563-9800 or via email at marc@nefflawoffices.com.

The post Medical Marijuana Dispensary Permits Awarded appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog.




Recreational Marijuana Use in Nevada Hit a Minor Rough Patch

2017-07-20T16:07:04Z

Nevada, whose voters approved legislation legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana starting July 1, 2017, are facing some issues as a result of a group of wholesale liquor distributors filing a lawsuit claiming they have the exclusive right to the distribution of recreational marijuana. The ballot measure for recreational marijuana provided that for the first […]

The post Recreational Marijuana Use in Nevada Hit a Minor Rough Patch appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog.

Nevada, whose voters approved legislation legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana starting July 1, 2017, are facing some issues as a result of a group of wholesale liquor distributors filing a lawsuit claiming they have the exclusive right to the distribution of recreational marijuana.

The ballot measure for recreational marijuana provided that for the first 18 months only liquor distributors would be given distribution licenses. This measure was a means of creating a highly regulated industry akin to the alcohol industry in the State of Nevada. However, the Nevada Department of Taxation reserved the right to open up the granting of licenses to other applicants if they determined there would be an insufficient number of distributors to serve the marijuana market. The department did just that, triggering the lawsuit from liquor distributors.

The group of wholesalers, collectively called the Independent Alcohol Distributors of Nevada, brought this lawsuit with the goal of blocking the awarding of marijuana distribution licenses to anyone outside the liquor industry. The Carson City judge who heard the case, ruled in favor of the liquor distributors, granting an injunction against issuing marijuana distribution licenses to anyone except wholesale liquor distributors for the first 18 months just as the ballot measure provided. The judge also created an injunction prohibiting the Nevada Department of Taxation from making a determination on whether or not there are an insufficient number of liquor wholesalers until the department adopts rules or regulations to determine how many distributors are required.

Currently, none of the liquor wholesalers’ applications are complete. However, retailers have stocked up on marijuana for the July 1st start date. If the granting of these licenses is not soon resolved the retailers will face the issue of running out of inventory. Nevada hopes to avoid a situation where retailers sell out of their products and do not have a distributor to restock their inventory.

Nevada is still dealing with other issues such as mandating childproof packaging and warning labels, but optimism is still high for a July 1st start date.

For more than twenty-five years, the Law Offices of Marc Neff has been defending the rights of individuals and corporations facing serious criminal charges. Throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and elsewhere, Mr. Neff has successfully defended clients charged with white-collar crimes such as mail fraud and bank fraud, RICO, drug distribution, money laundering, sex crimes and other serious offenses.

The post Recreational Marijuana Use in Nevada Hit a Minor Rough Patch appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog.




SORNA Registration Held to be Unconstituional when Applied Retroactively

2017-07-20T16:04:25Z

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that the retroactive application of Pennsylvania’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) violates the ex post facto clauses of both the United State Constitution and the Pennsylvania Constitution. People who were convicted of a sexual offense before SORNA became effective in December 2012 are subject to the Megan’s […] The post SORNA Registration Held to be Unconstituional when Applied Retroactively appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania held that the retroactive application of Pennsylvania’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) violates the ex post facto clauses of both the United State Constitution and the Pennsylvania Constitution. People who were convicted of a sexual offense before SORNA became effective in December 2012 are subject to the Megan’s Law registration requirements that were in place when they were convicted, rather than to the registration requirements of SORNA being retroactively applied. This decision, Commonwealth v. Muniz, is an example of the significance the Court’s rulings. The Appellant was convicted by the trial court of two counts of indecent assault arising out of an incident with a 12-year-old girl. This conviction took place in 2007 when Megan’s Law III was still in effect. Under Megan’s Law III, Appellant would have had to register as a sex offender with the Pennsylvania State Police for a period of ten years. Under the new sex offender registration law, SORNA, a person with Appellant’s conviction is categorized as a Tier III offender and is required to register as a sex offender for the remainder of their life. Before this holding, SORNA applied retroactively to an individual, such as Appellant, who had not completed their registration period under Megan’s Law III before SORNA came into effect. Therefore, rather than reporting for 10 years, Appellant would be forced to register and follow the guidelines of SORNA for the remainder of his life. The Court addressed the federal ex post facto claim and state ex post facto claim separately. In addressing the federal claim, the Court’s decision hinged upon whether SORNA’s retroactive application to Appellant constitutes a punishment. The relevant clause of the United States Constitution reads, “No State shall…pass any…ex post facto Law….” U.S. Const. art I § 10. The Court applied a two-part test that was established in the cases of Commonwealth v. Williams, 832 A.2d 962 (Pa. 2003) (Williams II) and Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84 (2003). The first part of the test is to consider whether the General Assembly had the intent to impose punishment, and if they did not, whether the statutory scheme is “so punitive either in purpose or effect as to negate the legislature’s non-punitive intent.” Williams II, 832 A.2d at 971. If it is found that the legislature did intend to enact a civil scheme, then the court must apply the factors established in Kennedy v. Medoza-Martinez, 372 U.S. 144 (1963) to determine if it is punitive in effect. The Court determined the legislature’s intent in enacting SORNA was not to punish, but instead to promote public safety through a civil scheme. The Court therefore moved on to the Mendoza-Martinez factors. After reviewing SORNA under the Mendoza-Martinez factors, the Court found four out of the five factors that were given weight, weighed in favor of finding SORNA to be punitive in effect. The determining factors were, “SORNA involves affirmative disabilities or restraints, its sanctions have been historically regarded as punishment, its operation promotes the traditional aims of punishment, including deterrence and retribution, and its registration requirements are excessive in relation to its stated non-punitive purpose.” Therefore, the retroactive application of SORNA to Appellant was d[...]



The Medical Marijuana Act in PA and Employment

2017-07-10T16:18:35Z

The Medical Marijuana Act in Pennsylvania prohibits patients under the influence of medical marijuana from performing employment duties at heights or in confined spaces. 35 P.S. § 10231.510(2). Also, in regards to employment of patients, employers have discretionary authority in certain instances. An employer may prohibit a patient who is under the influence of marijuana […] The post The Medical Marijuana Act in PA and Employment appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog. The Medical Marijuana Act in Pennsylvania prohibits patients under the influence of medical marijuana from performing employment duties at heights or in confined spaces. 35 P.S. § 10231.510(2). Also, in regards to employment of patients, employers have discretionary authority in certain instances. An employer may prohibit a patient who is under the influence of marijuana from performing any duty the employer deems life threatening to the patient, the employer, or other employees. 35 P.S. § 10231.510(3). Employers can also prohibit patients under the influence of marijuana “from performing any duty which could result in a public health or safety risk.” 35 P.S. § 10231.510(4). Neither of the discretionary prohibitions by employers mentioned above will be “deemed an adverse employment decision even if the prohibition results in financial harm for the patient.” 35 P.S. § 10231.510(3)(4). The employer is under no obligation to provide an employee with any accommodation for the employee to smoke their medical marijuana at the place of employment. 35 P.S. § 10231.2103. Furthermore, an employer may discipline an employee “for being under the influence of medical marijuana in the workplace or for working while under the influence of medical marijuana when the employee’s conduct falls below the standard of care normally accepted for that position.” 35 P.S. § 10231.2103. However, the Act does provide protections for the employee. “No employer may discharge, threaten, refuse to hire or otherwise discriminate or retaliate against an employee regarding an employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, location or privileges solely on the basis of such employee’s status as an individual who is certified to use medical marijuana.” 35 P.S. § 10231.2103(b)(1). It is a crime for a patient or caregiver to “intentionally, knowingly or recklessly [possess], [store] or [maintain] an amount of medical marijuana in excess of the amount legally permitted.” 35 P.S. § 10231.1303. It is also a crime for a patient or caregiver to intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly provide a person, who is not lawfully permitted to receive medical marijuana, with medical marijuana. 35 P.S. § 10231.1304. The Act provides somewhat of a blanket statement by stating it does not prevent the imposition of any criminal, civil, or any other penalty for a person who, under the influence of medical marijuana, undertakes any task “when doing so would constitute negligence, professional malpractice or professional misconduct.” 35 P.S. § 10231.1309(1). When a patient or caregiver violates (either intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly) any provision of this Act their identification card can be suspended or revoked in addition to any other criminal charges or penalties that may apply. 35 P.S. § 10231.509. Additionally, the Act makes it a crime to violate its’ provisions, as well as, potentially subjects the violator to civil penalties (fines) for violating the Act. 35 P.S. § 10231.1308. Anybody not authorized to have a medical marijuana card, should be aware that it is a crime to possess an identification card and to attempt to or purchase medical marijuana with said card. 35 P.S. § 10231.1305. For more than twenty-five years, the Law Offices of Marc Neff has been defending the rights of individuals and corporations facing serious criminal ch[...]



The Need to Know for Potential Medical Marijuana Patients in Pennsylvania

2017-07-10T16:16:58Z

Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act provides the guidelines to obtaining medical marijuana. Under the Act, medical marijuana can only be dispensed to a patient who “receives a certification from a practitioner and is in possession of a valid identification card issued by the department,” and also to caregivers who have a valid identification card. 35 P.S. […] The post The Need to Know for Potential Medical Marijuana Patients in Pennsylvania appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog. Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act provides the guidelines to obtaining medical marijuana. Under the Act, medical marijuana can only be dispensed to a patient who “receives a certification from a practitioner and is in possession of a valid identification card issued by the department,” and also to caregivers who have a valid identification card. 35 P.S. § 10231.303. The caregiver is someone the patient designates as authorized to deliver medical marijuana to him or her. 35 P.S. § 10231.103. The caregiver is subject to a criminal background check and the application of the caregiver will be denied if he or she “has been convicted of a criminal offense that occurred within the past five years relating to the sale or possession of drugs, narcotics or controlled substances.” 35 P.S. § 10231.502. Both patients and caregivers should be advised that false statements made on their application for identification cards “is punishable under the applicable provisions of 18 Pa.C.S. Ch. 49,” which relates to falsification in official matters. 35 P.S. § 10231.503. In order to be considered a patient, someone who can obtain medical marijuana under this Act, the person must (1) [have] a serious medical condition; (2) [have] met the requirements for certification under this act; and (3) [be] a resident of this Commonwealth. 35 P.S. § 10231.103. The Act has dictated the following as serious medical conditions: (1) Cancer. (2) Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome. (3) Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. (4) Parkinson’s disease. (5) Multiple sclerosis. (6) Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity. (7) Epilepsy. (8) Inflammatory bowel disease. (9) Neuropathies. (10) Huntington’s disease. (11) Crohn’s disease. (12) Post-traumatic stress disorder. (13) Intractable seizures. (14) Glaucoma. (15) Sickle cell anemia. (16) Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective. (17) Autism. Minors are eligible for medical marijuana as well, however, as a minor they must have a caregiver and that caregiver has to be “[a] parent or legal guardian of the patient, [a]n individual designated by a parent or legal guardian, [or] [a]n appropriate individual approved by the department upon a sufficient showing that no parent or legal guardian is appropriate or available.” 35 P.S. § 10231.506. Although it is subject to change by the Act’s advisory board, currently patients and caregivers cannot purchase marijuana in dry leaf or plant form. 35 P.S. § 10231.303(b)(3). Under the Act it is actually unlawful to smoke medical marijuana. 35 P.S. § 10231.304(b)(1). The forms of marijuana allowed by the Act are: (i) pill; (ii) oil; (iii) topical forms, including gels, creams or ointments; (iv) a form medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization, excluding dry leaf or plant form… (v) tincture; or (vi) liquid. 35 P.S. § 10231.303(i)-(vi). Medical marijuana patients and caregivers should note that they must have their identification card on them at all times they are in possession of medical marijuana and medical ma[...]



Medical Marijuana Growing Licenses Granted

2017-07-14T19:34:19Z

Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has issued 12 licenses for medical marijuana growers. The winners of the bids included many wealthy and powerful business firms. The medical marijuana industry is not for people with small bank accounts. There is a non-refundable application fee of $10,000 in addition to a permit fee for growers of $200,000. This […] The post Medical Marijuana Growing Licenses Granted appeared first on Philadelphia Criminal Defense Lawyer Blog. Pennsylvania’s Department of Health has issued 12 licenses for medical marijuana growers. The winners of the bids included many wealthy and powerful business firms. The medical marijuana industry is not for people with small bank accounts. There is a non-refundable application fee of $10,000 in addition to a permit fee for growers of $200,000. This permit fee is refundable if you are not awarded the license. The permit is only valid for one year, but the growers can apply to renew their permit for an additional $10,000 each year, which will be refunded if the renewal is not granted. In addition to paying these fees, the growers must show they have capital to back up the granting of this license. The grower must have at least $2,000,000 in capital, $500,000 of which must be on deposit with a financial institution. There are also additional fees growers will be subject to, such as a 5% tax on gross receipts from the growers’ sales to dispensaries. Other costs include an enclosed building to grow the medical marijuana, a mandatory electronic inventory tracking system, and security/surveillance. Once granted the permit, the growers should have little trouble with these costs in an industry expected to be worth $21 billion by 2021, according to Arcview Group research. The Medical Marijuana Act provides that the Department of Health must establish a minimum of three regions within the state. The Department chose to establish six regions in Pennsylvania to issue permits. In deciding where these licenses would be issued, the Medical Marijuana Act requires the Department to consider (1) regional population, (2) the number of patients suffering from serious medical conditions, (3) the types of serious medical conditions, (4) access to public transportation, and (5) any other factor the department deems relevant. The Department granted two growing permits within each of the six regions it created. The Department of Health guidelines established by the Medical Marijuana Act are used to assess the granting or denial of a permit to a grower. The following list was established: (1) The applicant will maintain effective control of and prevent diversion of medical marijuana. (2) The applicant will comply with all applicable laws of this Commonwealth. (3) The applicant is ready, willing and able to properly carry on the activity for which a permit is sought. (4) The applicant possesses the ability to obtain in an expeditious manner sufficient land, buildings and equipment to properly grow, process or dispense medical marijuana. (5) It is in the public interest to grant the permit. (6) The applicant, including the financial backer or principal, is of good moral character and has the financial fitness necessary to operate. (7) The applicant is able to implement and maintain security, tracking, recordkeeping and surveillance systems relating to the acquisition, possession, growth, manufacture, sale, delivery, transportation, distribution or the dispensing of medical marijuana as required by the department. (8) The applicant satisfies any other conditions as determined by the department. Additionally, there was an emphasis on diversity created by the Medical Marijuana Act. A whole section of the application dedicated to the grower providing its’ diversity plan, which emphasizes people from diverse groups being involved at all le[...]