Steps for Obtaining a Maryland Medical Cannabis Card

Nov, 2020
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Steps for Obtaining a Maryland Medical Cannabis Card: In order to become a medical cannabis patient in Maryland, you will need to complete these steps in the following order:

  1. Register by completing and submitting an application on the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) website.
  2. Receive approval from the MMCC via email.
  3. Obtain certification from a provider registered with the MMCC.
  4. Purchase medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary within 120 days.

Read on for more details and helpful hints about completing each step. 

Step 1 — Register as a Patient for a Maryland Medical Cannabis Card

Who’s Eligible?

Any adult (18+ years) with a qualifying condition can register as a patient. (The process for registering a minor is different. Please see Elevate’s separate article on this topic.) The patient must be able to obtain a medical cannabis recommendation from a registered provider (doctor). 

Qualifying Conditions Include:

Cachexia, anorexia, wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or another chronic medical condition which is severe and for which other treatments have been ineffective.

What You Will Need to Register

Be sure to complete the online registration and submission process in one session; you will not be able to save and return. You will need to have all the necessary documents and information ready in electronic form.

For Adult Patient Applications:

  • Valid email that you can use for your MMCC account, now and in the future
  • The last four digits of your social security number
  • An electronic copy of a government-issued photo ID (driver’s license, state ID, military ID, U.S. passport)
  • Proof of Maryland residency
  • An electronic copy of a clear, recent photo

If your ID does not reflect your current Maryland address, you may use 2 of the following, as long as they show your name and address and are from two different agencies:

  • MVA registration card or title
  • Utility, telephone or cable/satellite TV bill
  • Bank account statement
  • Property tax bill
  • Mortgage statement or proof of home ownership (Deed, Title, Bill of Sale)
  • Major credit card bill (Visa, MasterCard, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.)
  • Residential rental contract (lease or rental contract between landlord and tenant which includes all signatures).
  • Selective Service Card
  • Federal, state, or local government mail issued by the state of Maryland (i.e., Social Security, social services)
  • Car insurance policy

All documents must be dated within the last 90 days; each one must include your name and address; they must be from different agencies. Continue following these steps for Obtaining your Maryland Medical cannabis card legally.

Your Clear, Recent Photo: Maryland Medical Cannabis Card

According to the MMCC, this is the #1 reason applications don’t get processed. They recommend using a passport photo app you can download on Google Play or the App Store. Here are the specifics:

  • Should look like a driver’s license photo
  • Clear and in color
  • Face should be unobscured (no dark glasses, no head covering, etc.)
  • Facing the camera with both eyes open
  • A neutral expression or a natural smile
  • White or off-white background
  • Must be a .jpg no larger than 3MB
  • Not digitally enhanced or altered in any way. (Do not use the cropping feature on the passport app.) 

Patients in hospice care may elect to submit a letter from the attending hospice physician instead of a recent photo. The letter must be from the Attending of Hospice Record (AOHR) physician on hospice letterhead stating that the patient is a hospice patient under his or her care. It may be uploaded in either .jpg or .pdf format.

To Complete and Submit Application

Go to the MMCC website and click on the blue “Patients” button, then the blue “I am ready to register” button. Select “Create Account” under Patients. 

IMPORTANT: Once you finish the application process and submit, an email will be sent to the account you registered with. You must verify your email account by clicking on the verification link in the email. If you do not, your application is incomplete and will not be reviewed.

Step 2 — Wait for Approval Email for Your Maryland Medical Cannabis Card

This is the step that requires the least amount of action from you, but perhaps the most effort … by waiting. While the MMCC is reviewing your submission, it can take 30 or more (we’ve heard up to 45) days to process. 

Hospice patients, however, will be processed immediately.

It’s important to save your approval email; it contains your Username, which you will need to log in to the Patient Registry, as well as your MMCC Patient ID Number, which your physician will need to issue your written certification for medical cannabis. You will also need your patient ID at dispensaries, although your temporary card will have it. 

Designate a Caregiver 

Once you are approved, if you want, you may designate a caregiver. Note: Before you can officially add a caregiver to your approved application, your caregiver must be registered by submitting an application and receiving MMCC approval (see our article on the Maryland Caregiver Process). 

You may then log in to the Patient Registry, sign in to your account and designate your caregiver (on the Add/Remove Caregiver tab). 

Step 3 — Obtain Certification from a Registered Provider

Even though you’ve been approved by the MMCC, you cannot purchase medical cannabis until you have a signed certification from a provider (doctor) that is registered with the MMCC. Continue following these steps for obtaining a medical cannabis card in Maryland.

Once certified, your provider will enter you into the MMCC database as certified. 

Doctors who want to certify medical cannabis patients have to register with the MMCC. You can check out a list of Maryland registered providers, if your regular doctor is not registered. 

Online clinics are now a safe and easy way to find a registered cannabis provider in Maryland. A telehealth visit with a compassionate licensed cannabis doctor like the ones at Elevate Holistics can be done same-day and from the convenience of your own home. Our online process is completely HIPAA compliant and you won’t have to go out among other patients in an office.

Step 4 — Visit a Licensed Dispensary

Immediately after your provider certifies you, you may print a temporary MMCC card and boogie on down to a licensed cannabis dispensary near you — or any licensed dispensary in Maryland. You do not have to go to the same one every time; they are all connected to the MMCC database. So feel free to shop around — according to your 30-day limit, of course. 

Important: If you do not purchase from a licensed dispensary within 120 days of certification, your certification will automatically expire. 

Tips to Avoid Delays and Complications for Your Maryland Medical Cannabis Card

  • You must register before you go for your physician certification.
  • Have all your documents ready in an electronic format before you start the application process. It must be completed in one session.
  • Your doctor or “provider” must be registered in order to certify you.
  • Telehealth is now acceptable due to COVID-19.
  • Remember to verify your email once you’ve submitted your application. 
  • Unacceptable photos are the #1 reason applications aren’t approved; be sure to follow photo guidelines.
  • Remember to bring your Patient ID Number to your provider certification visit.
  • Provider certification will expire within 120-days if medical cannabis has not been purchased from a Maryland licensed dispensary.
  • Patients must be both registered with MMCC and have an active certification in order to purchase cannabis.
  • Print a temporary MMCC ID card before you make your first visit to a dispensary.

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