How to Get a Maryland Medical Marijuana Card
Research has shown marijuana is effective for treating a variety of medical conditions. If traditional medications haven’t provided relief for you, it makes sense to seek alternative treatments. Applying for a medical marijuana card in Maryland is relatively straightforward, but you do have to complete all of the steps in order to get approved.
Although Maryland does not stipulate an age requirement for medical marijuana, the process we outline here is for adults. A different process is required for patients under the age of 18. Here is a link to that process.
Medical marijuana is just like any other medication: it is only prescribed for those who have medical conditions which the drug is approved to treat. In addition, your condition must be diagnosed by a medical doctor, chiropractor or other medical professional qualified to make the diagnosis. You cannot register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission without such a diagnosis.
If you are plagued by at least one of the following conditions, you are assumed to qualify for medical marijuana to treat your condition:
- Chronic pain
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Severe nausea
- Severe or persistent muscle spasms
- Severe pain
- Wasting syndrome
Although this list encompasses currently approved conditions, other severe conditions for which traditional medical treatments have not been effective can potentially be treated with cannabis. Speak to your physician about this because it is possible that your symptoms may be expected to be relieved with medical marijuana.
If your personal physician is reluctant to prescribe marijuana or simply does not have enough experience with its use to be comfortable prescribing it, many registered medical providers do have the experience to feel comfortable prescribing medical marijuana. Most are motivated by the desire to improve their patients’ quality of life by relieving symptoms that other drugs or treatment do not.
If you experience anxiety, depression, cancer, insomnia or migraines, you may find relief from medical marijuana prescribed by such innovative medical providers.
Personal Information Needed
Gather the information and documents you need for applying online before you begin the process. The state requires that you complete and submit the application once you begin the online process. You cannot save the application when it is in process and finish it at another time.
Your documents must be in an electronic format and available to upload to the application site during your session.
Following is a list of the documents and other information required during the application process:
- A valid email address. This should be an email address that is owned by and easily accessible by you. To maintain your privacy, do not use a work-related email or one that you share with another person.
- If you don’t already know them, you’ll need to find out the last four digits of your Social Security Number.
- An electronic, valid copy of your government-issued photo identification, which contains proof of your residential address in the State of Maryland. For those of you whose identification does not show your current residential address, here is a list of supporting documents that you can supply in electronic format to satisfy this requirement. Please note that you need two items from this list.
Registration & Approval Process
To complete and submit your online application, go to the MMCC website and click on “Create Account” under the first heading entitled “Patients.”
Once your have created an account, you can complete and submit your application. You are not required at this time to submit medical records; that will come later in the application process.
Once your application is complete and you have submitted it, check the email you used when applying. The MMCC will send you a verification email. You must clink the verification link to verify the account is yours. Your application will not be complete until you verify your email address and until it is verified, it will not be looked at by MMCC.
Waiting to Hear Back from MMCC
Once your application has been reviewed, you will receive an email letting you know whether or not you have been approved. Due to the high volume of applications, MMCC requests that you wait to call or email them until 45 days after submission. Although it is possible to hear back in as little as five days, you may find yourself waiting the full 45. Check your email box regularly.
After you receive the email with your approval, you will now be registered with MMCC and will have a patient ID number. The next step is to visit a physician registered with MMCC to get a valid written certification for the program. You must get the written certification from a MMCC-registered provider.
Here are some resources for finding a registered physician:
After your visit with the approved physician, he or she will submit the paperwork electronically and provide you with the appropriate written certification you need to visit a licensed dispensary in Maryland to purchase your medical cannabis. This cost for this is approximately $200 and some doctors offer discounts to veterans.
Your First Dispensary Visit
When you go to the dispensary for the first time, bring your state ID, your patient ID number and the valid written certification provided by the approved physician you visited. Once you are registered, you can easily visit other approved state dispensaries to buy your cannabis.
You need to use your new certification to purchase medical marijuana within 120 days of the date it is issued. If you don’t use it within that time, it will no longer be valid.
You can also purchase an optional patient ID card for $50, which makes it easier to sign into and purchase marijuana at any state dispensary.
If you regularly receive medical treatment in the State of Maryland but live in another state, you are eligible to register as a patient to receive medical marijuana. However, you are required to provide the name, address and contact name for the medical facility in Maryland where you receive treatment.
Although there are a few hoops that you are required to jump through to obtain a medical marijuana certificate in Maryland, the process is pretty straightforward, as long as you are diagnosed with one or more of the medical maladies required for approval.