If you are a Maryland resident, you may already know that cannabis was legalized in the State for medical patients in 2018.
Unlike many states, Maryland allows for children under the age of 18 to get a medical license with the close help of a guardian, which makes this state a refuge for many parents who battle the need for pharmaceutical drugs.
How do I know if I qualify?
The list of qualifying conditions is not vast but does provide a starting point for those facing serious illness, disease, or disability. If you have proof of Maryland residency and have at least one of the following conditions diagnosed by a medical professional, you qualify:
- Wasting syndrome
- Severe pain
- Severe nausea
- Severe or persistent muscle spasms
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Chronic pain
- Other severe and chronic medical conditions that have not been successfully treated with other medications
If you don’t see your particular ailment or illness on this list, you may still qualify based on the other requirements. Additional conditions that come with persistent pain include cancer, depression, and migraines.
What you need to start the process of obtaining your Maryland Medical Cannabis Certification
If you qualify for the medical cannabis program and would like to apply, there are a few things you need to gather before you begin.
- You will need:
- a valid email account
- A scanned or electronic copy of a valid Maryland photo ID – or – A letter from the Attending of Hospice Record (AOHR) provider on hospice letterhead.
- An electronic copy of a recent photo (like a passport photo)
*Note from the MMCC strongly recommends using a free, highly-rated passport photo app widely available for download via the App Store, Google Play Store or anywhere apps are available.
- Last 4 digits of your social security card.
Unfortunately, if you are an out-of-state patient, the state of Maryland has suspended the review of applications by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission at this time. Applicants who live outside the State may not access medical cannabis at Maryland licensed dispensaries. This is pretty consistent with most medically legal states, but some states with adult-use laws (like California), do not prohibit out-of-state patients from accessing cannabis from a licensed dispensary.
The Steps to Obtain Your Cannabis Licence:
1. Step One: Collect and prepare the necessary documents:
It is essential that you have the required information and documents in an electronic format ready for upload before starting the application process. It will help to prevent you from feeling stressed or needing to start and stop the application process.
- Collect the documents mentioned above in electronic form
- Complete and submit an application for an account on the MMCC website under the patients section.
- You will need to click a verification link that will be sent via email immediately.
- Once approved, you can log into your MMCC account and select a caregiver.
- You will still need to obtain a valid certification from a doctor in order to purchase cannabis. Your account with MMCC is valid for 2 years. There is no fee.
2. Step Two: Visit with a Doctor
Now that you have created an account with MMCC, you are ready to find a provider that can give you a written certification.
- Find your doctor. Heally makes it easy to connect to a Maryland physician licensed to recommend marijuana in your local area & make an appointment.
- The provider will confirm that you suffer from one of the qualifying conditions listed previously.
- If eligible, your provider will give you a written certification that can be used to purchase cannabis at a licensed dispensary. Your written certification will be valid for one year from the signing date.
3. Step Three: Choose a dispensary and plan your trip
Now that you have both your MMCC account and your written certification from a certified provider, you are ready to purchase cannabis from a licensed Maryland dispensary. You will need your patient ID number with you when you visit.
- You will need to bring your documents. Be sure to bring your written certification as well as a valid Maryland photo ID when you make the trip.
- Plan your trip to the dispensary. Be sure to do this step within 4 months of receiving your certification. If nothing is dispensed within a 120 day period your certification will become invalid and you will have to obtain another one.
- Find a local dispensary and make the trip (or send one of your approved caregivers). You can find a list of licensed dispensaries on the MMCC website.
4. Step Four: (Optional) Get your State ID Card
This next step is completely optional but will make it easier when going to a dispensary. If you’d prefer to keep your documentation simple, a State Cannabis ID card can be obtained from the MMCC that can be used in lieu of a written certification and valid Maryland photo ID when purchasing from a licensed dispensary.
The patient ID card can be purchased for $50 from the MMCC once a patient has both registered and received a written certification. A Patient ID is not required to purchase cannabis in Maryland.
Keep in mind that it may take several weeks to receive your confirmation. The MMCC suggests that you wait to contact the office until it has been more than 45 days since you submitted your application.
Are you ready to utilize plant medicine?
You’re finally on your way to utilizing cannabis as medicine. The process is thorough and takes a concentrated effort, but thankfully this system has been set up to allow you to utilize the help of caregivers and doctors who have opted into consulting about cannabis. Heally works with cannabis doctors in the state of Maryland to schedule visits in your local area. If you have questions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.