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Is Weed Legal in Philly?

Is Weed Legal in Philly?

Marijuana Laws in Pennsylvania

Is weed legal in Philly? Pennsylvania, among many other states in the country, has legalized marijuana for medical purposes. This includes Philadelphia. To legally purchase marijuana in Pennsylvania, you must obtain a medical marijuana card from an authorized doctor. The doctor determines if you qualify for a medical mairjuana card based on a number of conditions. Here is a list of qualifying conditions: 

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Autism
  • Cancer, including remission therapy
  • Chronic Hepatitis C
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system (brain-spinal cord) with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, and other associated neuropathies
  • Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intractable seizures
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuropathies
  • Opioid use disorder for which conventional therapeutic interventions are contraindicated or ineffective, or for which adjunctive therapy is indicated in combination with primary therapeutic interventions
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Terminal illness
  • Tourette syndrome

You will also need to pay a fee to obtain your medical marijuana card which is usually around $150-$250 each year. Once you have received your card, you can visit medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state. Your medical marijuana card does not work in other states.

Marijuana Decriminalization in Philadelphia

Back in 2014, the Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter, decriminalized marijuana within the city limits. This does not mean that marijuana became legal. It means that you will not be criminally prosecuted for possessing less than 30 grams of marijuana. You can still be punished for using marijuana in public (community service). Distribution of marijuana, possession of more than 30 grams, or driving while under the influence is still illegal and you could face legal repercussions. 

THCA Flower and the Legal Gray Areas

Since the passing of the Hemp Bill in 2018, cannabis has entered into a legal gray area. The bill states that all hemp products must contain less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC. In marijuana flower, Delta-9 THC is the active compound which produces the high felt when using it. This is where the legal loophole comes into play. What politicians did not realize is that Delta-9 THC is not the most abundant compound in marijuana. The most abundant cannabinoid is THCA.

THCA itself is an inactive compound and will not produce a high. This is probably why politicians looked it over. What they did not seem to realize is that THCA converts into Delta-9 THC when marijuana is smoked. The addition of heat converts THCA to Delta-9 THC through a process called decarboxylation. 

When someone says, “This marijuana is 30% THC”, what they really mean is that the flower contains 30% THCA. Levels of Delta-9 THC in mairjuana rarely exceed 1%. So herein lies the loophole. The Hemp Bill legalized cannabis flower that contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, but does not restrict levels of THCA. So, all retailers need to do to sell “marijuana” is to confirm the flower has less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, but still high levels of THCA. 

Here is an example of some marijuana from a Philadelphia dispensary:

Notice that levels of THCA are relatively high (25%) but levels of Delta-9 THC are low (0.27%). Even this marijuana flower from the dispensary has less than the legal hemp limit of 0.3% Delta-9 THC. That means this marijuana flower could legally be considered hemp flower.

Now take a look at some THCA Flower from Thrive Flower, a local Philly cannabis company:

You can see that this flower has even higher levels of THCA (almost 30%) and very low levels of Delta-9 THC (0.12%). 

This loophole is how you are able to purchase “marijuana” products without needing a medical marijuana card. Products you may find include: THCA Flower, THCA Vapes, and THCA Pre Rolled Joints. You will also notice some familiar strains including Gelato, Blue Dream, Runtz, Mac 1, and more!

Summary: Is Weed Legal in Philly?

Is Weed Legal in Philly by Thrive Flower

While marijuana remains medically legal in Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, the Hemp Bill has opened legal loopholes so you can purchase “marijuana” products without obtaining a medical marijuana card. A lack of understanding the science of cannabis led politicians to enact laws that allow the sale, possession, and use of high THC cannabis products. As long as the product contains less than 0.3% Delta-9 THC, it is a legal product.

There are no restrictions on THCA. THCA converts into Delta-9 THC when smoked. So, forget the medical card and go buy yourself some high quality cannabis! You can even get your cannabis delivered to your home! And, if you live in Philly, you can get it delivered on the same day you order it! If you have any questions, please reach out to Thrive Flower via the contact form.

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