If you or a loved one experiences one of several chronic conditions that you’ve been unable to manage with traditional medical care, the state of Maryland permits the use of medical marijuana. As of January 2021, over 120,000 patients have registered with the state to legally use the alternative treatment.
Maryland originally passed legislation legalizing medical marijuana in 2014. The government spent the next four years establishing the policies, regulatory apparatus, and network of providers to safely and effectively administer the application process and program.
In order to become eligible for a medical marijuana card in Maryland, one must meet the following conditions:
Baltimore residents who want to obtain medical marijuana cards must go through a rigorous approval process. The first step is to get a physician’s certification stating that the patient has a qualifying medical condition.
Once the patient has the certification, they can then apply for a medical marijuana card through the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC).
The MMCC will review the application and, if it’s approved, they’ll issue a medical marijuana card to the patient. The card entitles the patient to purchase medical marijuana from a licensed dispensary in Maryland.
Medical marijuana qualifications can appear confusing, but understanding the ins and outs of the rules isn’t too difficult. Knowing everything about using medical marijuana as well as its health benefits, regulations, and the process of getting a medical marijuana card puts you at the forefront of responsible medical marijuana users.
According to onestop.md.gov, the conditions that qualify for medical marijuana treatment in Maryland include:
Any condition recommended by your certified medical marijuana doctor
Every eligible patient must obtain a written certification from a licensed physician in Maryland stating that they have a qualifying condition and that that physician is recommending medical marijuana to treat it.
Getting a medical marijuana card requires registering with the state of Maryland first. You can register online, but you must complete the application in one session. You can’t save your work and come back to it. That’s why it’s critical to gather all required documents in an electronic format for transmission. Acceptable formats include .pdf, .jpg, .doc, and .docx formats.
You’ll need the following documents to register as an adult patient:
You must also submit the non-refundable $50 fee at the time of registration. All documentation for adults or minors must be dated within the last 90 days.
Minor patients under the age of 18 are required to be under the supervision of a caregiver at all times and can have four caregivers, including both parents/ guardians and two caregivers appointed by their parents or guardians.
Patient caregivers must register with the Commission and be approved before their minor patients can be registered. According to onestop.md.gov, caregiver registration costs $100 for each designated caregiver. The documents required for minors include the same proofs required for adult patients. These documents must also be ready for immediate electronic transfer.
Next, schedule an appointment with a locally certified medical marijuana doctor. The doctor will discuss your qualifying medical conditions for marijuana treatment and fill out essential information on your registration. At this point, the doctor can then issue your medical marijuana card.
Finally, your Maryland doctor will submit your completed application and issue your MMJ card. You’ll also receive a recommendation that you can take to the dispensary. You can only receive a 30-day supply of cannabis, and if you don’t use your prescription within 120 days it becomes invalid. You no longer need a passport-style photo for your card. According to mmcc.maryland.gov, patient and caregiver identification cards don’t require a photo as of April 20, 2021. You still need a passport-style photo for the application process.
Marijuana is well-known for its ability to provide a sense of relaxation, stimulate the appetite, and facilitate restful sleep. Some of the better-known health benefits of medical marijuana include:
After many long years, medical marijuana is now available for patients in Maryland. The first Maryland dispensaries opened in December of 2017. Meanwhile, many other states have legalized the personal use of marijuana or medical marijuana. The widespread legalization of marijuana is an indication that Maryland’s medical cannabis industry is on its way to booming.
At Maryland dispensaries you can expect professional service and staff members who are knowledgeable about different strains and a wide selection of products. The medicinal benefits of marijuana treatments have become well-documented and include reducing seizures, restoring appetites, relieving chronic pain, and improving patients’ quality of life.
When entering a treatment center for the first time, show your MMJ card and ask questions about medical marijuana. The expert tenders will gladly answer your questions and make recommendations based on your reasons for seeking medical marijuana treatment. Your tender will verify your doctor’s recommendations, help you make a final selection, and package your purchase in accordance with state requirements.
Registering and applying for a medical marijuana card costs $50 in Maryland, though it’s important to note that you could incur further costs when you visit a medical marijuana doctor to receive your certification.
To renew your medical marijuana card in Maryland, you will need to visit the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) website and follow the instructions on how to renew it.
Namely, you will need to provide your name, date of birth, and social security number, and you must pay the renewal fee. You will also need to provide a copy of your Maryland driver’s license or state ID.
If your personal information has changed, you will also need to provide proof of the change (such as a new driver’s license or social security card). Once you have completed all of these steps, you will be able to print out your renewed medical marijuana card.
In Maryland, medical marijuana patients must visit their doctors at least once every 90 days in order to maintain their status as registered patients.
In Maryland, you can only use your medical marijuana in the privacy of your own home. You cannot use it at work.
You also cannot use it in public places such as schools, parks, or restaurants. Additionally, you cannot use medical marijuana while operating a vehicle or machinery. If you are caught using medical marijuana in public, you may be subject to citation or arrest.
Yes, you can travel with your medical marijuana in Maryland. However, you should keep your medical marijuana card and identification on you at all times.
You can travel anywhere within the state of Maryland with your cannabis (excluding federally-owned property), but traveling across state lines with it is a federal offense.
No, you may not use your medical marijuana card outside of the state of Maryland. Transporting Maryland medical marijuana across state lines is considered a federal offense.