The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Advisory Board met Wednesday morning in Harrisburg for a quarterly meeting. Members of the board gave updates on the medical marijuana program, and discussed expectations of participating doctors.

The Medical Marijuana Advisory Board makes sure the Medical Marijuana Program is working to the best of its ability. Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine says the board’s operations are critical to the program.

“I think that this board from the beginning has shown a significant interest and enthusiasm in the program and making sure it’s very well run,” Dr. Levine says.

Wolf Administration officials, doctors, patient advocates, and appointees make up the advisory board. During today’s meeting, Dr. Levine updated the board on academic clinical research, the expansion of approved medical conditions that fall under the program, and the expectations she has for participating doctors.

“In terms of the physicians that are certified practitioners, and the depth of evaluation that is necessary to make a determination about certification of medical marijuana for these conditions,” Dr. Levine explains.

The Advisory Board was also given an update on the medical marijuana program in terms of numbers. There are about 180,000 patients approved for treatment, 120,000 patients actively going to medical marijuana dispensaries for product, and about 20,000 caregivers assisting these patients. There are also now 60 approved dispensaries in the state. Dr. Levine says PA has one of the best medical marijuana programs in the country.

“I think that it threads the needle in terms of being a medically based program for patients with serious medical conditions as certified by physicians,” says Dr. Levine.

Officials say those numbers will continue to expand as the program matures. The number of approved patients, physicians, and medical conditions are expected to grow, and more dispensaries are expected opened up.

The next Medical Marijuana Advisory Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 13th at 10:00am.