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growing marijuana in pa

They also cite information from the Marijuana Policy Project: 15 of the 19 states that have legalized recreational marijuana and nearly half of the states with medical marijuana programs have home-grow provisions. No state with such a provision has attempted to repeal it.

A bipartisan duo of state senators wants to amend Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program to allow patients to grow the plant in their own homes.

State Sen. Dan Laughlin, of Millcreek, R-49th Dist., and state Sen. Sharif Street, of Philadelphia, D-3rd Dist., who earlier this year proposed legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis for recreational purposes, have again joined forces by proposing what will be known as the Medical Marijuana Home Cultivation Bill.

Laughlin’s and Street’s proposed amendment, once introduced, will replicate the home-grow provision for medical marijuana patients that they included in their more comprehensive adult-use marijuana legalization bill earlier this year. Laughlin in February became the first Republican in the General Assembly to support the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Laughlin and Street put out a co-sponsorship memorandum Wednesday seeking support for their bill. State lawmakers defeated a similar proposal in June.

“If you’re a cancer patient and you are not feeling well, cannabis helps you with nausea and stuff like that,” said Laughlin, whose district includes most of Erie County. “For folks that have to get in a car and drive an hour or so away to get what they need to make themselves feel better when they could have a couple of plants right in their house, it does seem a little bit cruel to not allow them to do that.”

“It’s obviously already been proven both in the United States and abroad that there are genuine medical conditions that can be effectively treated with this,” Laughlin told the Erie Times-News Friday. “There’s no disputing that anymore. For it not to be covered under anybody’s insurance, I think this is a reasonable step to try and help cover the cost of their medicine.”

To be eligible for a medical marijuana card, patients must suffer from a qualifying medical condition and be prescribed a license through a physician who is certified under the program.

Some 633,557 patients and caregivers are registered under the state’s medical marijuana program and 367,925 people hold active patient certifications, or about 2.6% of the state’s population, according to Pennsylvania Health Department data presented to the Medical Marijuana Advisory Board in August.

In Allegheny County and throughout western Pennsylvania, people frequently cultivate marijuana plants and with the recent signing of the Pennsylvania medical marijuana bill, this may seem like a relief to marijuana growers. But it is important to remember that while the new medical marijuana law allows patients with one of 17 qualifying conditions to access the drug, the medical marijuana must be purchased from an authorized dispensary. Therefore, if you are found with marijuana plants even if the crop is just for your own use, it can still cause serious legal problems.

The Number of Marijuana Plants That Can Get You Arrested

You can be arrested for growing even one marijuana plant. The severity of the penalties you face will vary depending on the quantity of your plantings.

How a Marijuana Charge Can Harm You

Other possible consequences of a marijuana cultivation conviction:

Under Pennsylvania law, the amount of marijuana prosecutors can prove you are growing determines the range of penalties you may receive, with mandatory minimum sentences triggered at certain amounts. The sentence may depend on the number of the plants or on the weight of the plants. If determined by weight, prosecutors will use the whole plant — even the roots and other sections of the plant not normally ingested, smoked, or otherwise used.

Some people may be able to grow marijuana outside in the Philadelphia area during summer months, but most people who cultivate weed in the region utilize either “growhouses” and/or hydroponic equipment. To prove marijuana cultivation, police usually have to raid the home or building containing the marijuana plants, and such a raid usually requires a warrant.

Cultivation of Marijuana Charges in Pennsylvania

For any amount of marijuana above either 50 pounds or 51 live plants, you will face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, along with a $50,000 fine.

If you are growing any very small amount for personal use, you may face only mere possession charges for a small amount. Possession of a small amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor that can result in up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $500.

Marijuana Cultivation Defense in Pennsylvania

We represent those accused of marijuana cultivation throughout the Philadelphia area, including in Bucks County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Chester County, as well as in New Jersey.