Despite Massachusetts voters’ approval of Question 3 in November 2012, the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Program (MMMP) was delayed for nearly three years. The Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative, at its core, allowed qualifying patients to legally obtain medical marijuana to treat certain debilitating medical conditions. It also established a regulated dispensary system, the first of which opened in June 2015.
Question 4 was approved by Massachusetts voters on November 8, 2016, legalizing marijuana for recreational use. The so-called Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative legalized, taxed, and regulated marijuana in a similar manner as alcohol.
Despite the fact that marijuana is legal for both medical and adult use, there are numerous benefits to carrying a medical card, not the least of which is increased legal protection.
The process of applying for and receiving a medical card is straightforward, but if you have any questions or need assistance, the Sanctuary is here to help.
The Cannabis Control Commission, the MMMP’s regulator, allows for a wide range of debilitating conditions. The commission defines debilitating as “causing weakness, cachexia, wasting syndrome, intractable pain, or nausea, or impairing strength or ability, and progressing to the point where one or more of a patient’s major life activities is significantly limited.”
To be eligible for MMMP, you must be certified by a state-registered healthcare professional as having one of the following conditions:
Adults 18 years of age and older must obtain a written recommendation from a certified healthcare professional identifying their debilitating medical condition before registering with the state as a patient. Patients under the age of 18 must obtain permission from two licensed healthcare providers, one of whom must be a pediatrician or pediatric specialist.
If you are under the age of 18 or otherwise unable to apply for an MMJ card on your own, you can appoint a personal caregiver to assist you with the application process.
A certifying healthcare provider is defined by the commission as a licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner who is registered with MMMP.
MMMP will send you an email after your appointment with your personal identification number (PIN) and instructions on how to complete your patient application.
After you’ve been certified, you can start working on your application. You will need to gather a few documents.
First, you’ll need a valid form of photo ID that shows you live in Massachusetts. A valid Massachusetts driver’s license, a current Massachusetts ID card with your photo, or a current U.S. passport or military ID can be used as proof of residency.
If you submit a military ID or passport, you must also provide proof of your primary residence. Please keep in mind that any name and address on the supporting document must match the information on your registration application. These state ID validation documents may include the following:
Prepare your registration application and submit it through the state’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program System. You can also register by mail using a form found on the commission’s website. Approval will be the quickest, though.
There are no fees associated with the registration process in Massachusetts. Your primary expense will be your doctor’s visit. In the event that you misplace your MMJ card, replacement cards are $10 in the state of Massachusetts.
Your contact information must be correct and match the information on the ID card you submitted with your application. Update your profile with changes to your state, such as moving to a new address.
Tutorials are available to help you navigate the state’s system.
If you are approved as a medical marijuana patient by the state, you will be able to print a temporary card to use for up to 14 days until your actual card arrives, which usually takes 7-14 days.
Carry your card with you whenever you use medical marijuana. You may have up to a 60-day supply, or 10 ounces, on hand at any given time, though your certifying healthcare provider may prescribe more if necessary.
You can buy a variety of cannabis products at Massachusetts medical marijuana dispensaries, including edibles, concentrates, and more.
Your temporary or actual card, along with a second form of identification, will allow you to enter a medical marijuana treatment center.
Your certification must be renewed on an annual basis. The state does not charge a fee for renewals, even for new patients. Your doctor’s visit will most likely be your only expense.
The Sanctuary Wellness Institute can assist you in obtaining your Massachusetts medical marijuana card. Specifically, we can also put you in touch with a licensed physician who can certify your qualifying medical condition.
Contact us today to find out how we can assist you in obtaining a Massachusetts medical cannabis card.