The Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Act, signed into law on April 17, 2016, will take effect today (May 17, 2016). Pennsylvania is the 24th state to legalize the use of medical marijuana. There remains, however, a ramp up period before the Act takes meaningful effect. For example, the Department of Health must promulgate regulations to flesh out how the law will actually operate. An initial batch of regulations, potentially temporary regulations, should be out by the fall of 2016. See generally Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act, PL 84, No. 16 (April 17, 2016). The Act authorizes initial approval of as many as fifty dispensary operators, each of which could operate up to three locations a piece, resulting in a potential for 150 initial dispensary locations throughout the Commonwealth. See Act. Sec. 616. The total implementation period of the Act is expected to take between 18 and 24 months.
Pennsylvania government employees and contractors are now protected from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity.
On April 7, 2016, Governor Tom Wolf signed a pair of executive orders prohibiting discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity. The pair of orders come on the heels of a recent slate of controversial so-called “religious freedom” laws in states such as North Carolina and Mississippi.