How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card in Massachusetts 2022

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In Growing Marijuana in Massachusetts – MA Cannabis State Laws (2021) we gave a brief overview on how Massachusetts residents can apply to their state’s medical marijuana program. Recreational marijuana is legal in the Bay State but if you are a patient with a debilitating condition, there might be a few reasons why you would still want to get a medical marijuana card.

Overview of Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts

In 2012, Massachusetts voters approved the use of medical marijuana by way of Question 3 or the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative. After the law took effect in 2013, registered patients were allowed to purchase a 60-day supply. Initially, the state-licensed, non-profit dispensaries established by the law were prohibited from operating by the municipal government but the ban was eventually lifted after a ruling by Attorney General Martha M. Coakley.

You can read up on Massachusetts’ medical marijuana rules here: MGL c.94I Medical use of marijuana

Massachusetts’ medical marijuana now allows patients a sixty-day supply or roughly 10 ounces. Since all adults in the state are allowed to grow up to 6 plants for recreational purposes, patients may also grow the same amount.  

Qualifying conditions 

To qualify, a patient must have at least one of the following conditions:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease

To qualify, your physician must certify that you have at least one qualifying condition. If you have a condition that is not on the list, your healthcare provider may still certify you if they determine that your condition will be alleviated by cannabis.

Patients under the age of 18 may also apply to Massachusetts’ Medical Cannabis Program as long as they do it with the help and permission of their parents or legal guardians. They are also required to have at least one caregiver and get certified by two Certifying Health Care Providers, one of whom must be a pediatrician or pediatric specialist.

Caregivers

Those who wish to apply as a primary caregiver in Massachusetts must be at least 21 years of age and must not be the patient’s Certifying Health Care Provider. Patients may designate up to two personal caregivers but a caregiver may only provide assistance to one patient only unless they are the patient’s immediate family member.

Why should you get a marijuana card in Massachusetts

Even though recreational marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, a medical marijuana card is the only way minor patients can legally buy and use cannabis for their conditions. Medical marijuana is also exempted from sales tax which can go from 20% to 26% in some counties. 

How to get a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts

Applying to the Massachusetts medical marijuana program is fairly simple and can be done completely online or sent via mail. If you are qualified and would like to apply, here are the steps you should follow:

For patients, minor patients, and caregivers

  1. Consult with a healthcare provider licensed in Massachusetts to issue a certification. Once your physician/clinician determines that your condition qualifies, you will be given a written certification which you will upload into the online system6 or attach with your completed Patient Registration form. You will also be given a PIN after you have been certified. Your designated caregiver will need this to register.
  2. Create and validate an account on the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission portal. Be prepared to provide the following requirements:
    • A clear digital photo
    • A copy of your Massachusetts Driver’s license or state-issued ID.
    • US passport or US military ID and another document showing your Massachusetts address.
  3. Enter your information and upload the required documents in the application portal. You may also designate your caregiver here. If you are submitting your application by mail, you may send it to the following address:

Cannabis Control Commission
Medical Use of Marijuana Program
Union Station

2 Washington Square
Worcester, MA 01604

You do not need to pay anything when registering in the Massachusetts medical marijuana program but there is a $10 fee for having your Program Registration Card replaced. Meanwhile, providers may charge a fee for annual certification visits. You can expect to get your medical marijuana card within 7 to 10 days. Within that period, you can also print and use a temporary card which is valid for 14 days.

Frequently Asked Questions on Getting a Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Card

Why do I need to medical marijuana card?

Having a Massachusetts medical marijuana ID card is the only way minor patients in the state with a debilitating condition will be able to legally use medical marijuana.

Who is eligible for medical marijuana card?

Patients in Massachusetts who have at least one qualifying condition may apply for a medical marijuana card.

Why would I want a medical marijuana card?

A medical marijuana card is the only way minor patients with a debilitating condition can use cannabis in Massachusetts . Getting a Patient card is also free and is a good way to get medical marijuana which is exempted from sales tax.

How long does the process take?

It can take the Massachusetts Department of Health 7 to 10 days send your medical marijuana card after reviewing your application but you can print out a temporary Patient ID and use it for 14 days while waiting for your physical card.

How much does it cost to obtain a medical marijuana card?

Aside from the healthcare provider fees, it is free to get a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts.

How many plants can I grow with medical marijuana card?

Registered patients in Massachusetts may grow up to 6 plants but those who apply for a Hardship Cultivation license may grow an adequate amount.

How much marijuana can I keep with medical marijuana card?

Massachusetts’ medical marijuana now allows patients to purchase a sixty-day supply or roughly 10 ounces.

Conclusion

If you’re a patient in Massachusetts who needs marijuana for your condition, applying for a Patient Card is a good option if you need a higher cultivation limit and also want to save on medical marijuana costs. You don’t have to pay anything to get into the program and you can also get a Hardship Cultivation registration so that you can cultivate an adequate supply of marijuana if the recreational limit of 6 per person, 12 per household is not enough.

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