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More than 1,000 register for medical marijuana on Pennsylvania's first day

Mary Ann Thomas
| Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, 4:24 p.m.
A young female marijuana plant.
A young female marijuana plant.

The Pennsylvania Health Department reported on Thursday that more than 1,000 people registered on the first day of applications for the state's new Medical Marijuana Program.

The estimate includes patients and caregivers, according to Nate Wardle, a spokesman for the health department.

Some applicants are having problems registering, particularly submitting applications that don't contain information exactly as it appears on their driver's licenses, he said.

The issue is not preventing registration but slowing it down for some people, he said.

The health department issued some registration tips Thursday on Facebook:

The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Wednesday said patients in need will be able to get medical marijuana within six months.

John Collins, director of Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Program, said residents interested in using marijuana for their medical conditions should talk to their doctors to make sure their doctors are registered to participate in the program.

Under state law, patients can apply for a state-issued medical marijuana card if a doctor certifies they have one of 17 qualified medical conditions, including epilepsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis and seizure disorders.

Qualified patients with a doctor's recommendation will receive a Pennsylvania medical marijuana identification card, allowing the purchase of medical marijuana from an authorized state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a medical marijuana bill into law in April 2016. Medical marijuana in Pennsylvania will be available in pills, oils, tinctures or ointments. The program forbids smoking marijuana in dry leaf form.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib. Staff writer Ben Schmitt contributed.

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