Pharmaceutical companies create a wide range of drugs in an attempt to address different types of diseases. Even the leading companies, however, do not always succeed in this noble endeavor. Fortunately, nature moves in to fill the void: enter medical marijuana.

In the United States, 33 states permit the use of medical marijuana to assist patients suffering from illnesses such as cancer, chronic pain, or Crohn’s disease. 

Maryland joined the group in 2014, and you can now legally obtain medical marijuana within the state with a Maryland medical marijuana card. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting your Maryland medical marijuana card.

Who Is Eligible to Apply for a Maryland MMJ Card?

In order to obtain a Maryland medical marijuana card, you must be at least 18 years old. Caregivers must be 21 years old or older to apply on behalf of a minor patient (under the age of 18). 

Minors must be seen by a pediatric subspecialist as well. When they’re in the state for medical assistance, out-of-state patients may apply for an MMJ card in Maryland. You will be required to provide proof of this when applying.

Veterans can collect medical marijuana in the same way that other patients can, but not through the Veterans Affairs health system. Veterans must confirm with the Veteran Affairs office that they are allowed to use medical cannabis as part of their accredited provider referral without repercussions to their present state or health care system.

Which Medical Conditions are Eligible for Patient Registration?

Cachexia, chronic or severe pain, anorexia, wasting syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe nausea, severe or persistent muscle spasms, glaucoma, seizures, or perhaps another chronic serious illness that is severe and for which other treatment options have been unsuccessful are all qualifying medical conditions.

Steps to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Maryland

Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting a medical marijuana card in Maryland. 

Step 1: Create a Registry Account

The very first action in the Maryland medical cannabis application process is to set up an account in the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission Registry. You’ll need the following forms of identification:

  • A digital copy of a legitimate government-issued ID with your present address.*
  • A passport-size photo taken within the last 30 days, either by a professional photographer or by a smartphone.
  • SSN (Social Security Number).
  • To pay the $50 application fee, you’ll need a credit card.

*If the location on your proof of identity does not correspond to your present place of residence, you must provide additional evidence of Maryland residency. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission website has a list of approved documents.

Following the submission of your online application, you will get a confirmation email to the address you gave on your application. To authenticate your email account, click the verification link in the mail body. If this section is missing, your application will be rejected by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

Step 2: Submit a Written Certification from a Commission-registered Provider

Patients must collect a justified written certification from a provider registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission after registering. 

The patient has to have a genuine provider-patient relationship with the insurer, and the provider must endorse medical cannabis as a treatment method for the patient with an eligible to receive medical condition. 

We have already mentioned above which medical conditions qualify for an application for a medical marijuana card in Maryland. 

The Commission tends to encourage providers to sign up in the Provider Registry, which is now open. Any provider who holds an active, unrestricted license with their correlating board and is actively registered to recommend illicit substances in Maryland is eligible for registration with MMCC.

When both the patient and the provider are approved with the MMCC, the insurer will require the patient’s MMCC-issued Patient Identification Number in order to grant the medical cannabis certification through the Commission’s secure online application.

Step 3: Make a Copy of Your ID Card

You will be able to print and then use your provisional medical cannabis card once your healthcare provider shares your certification. Your permanent card will be mailed to you.

Please keep in mind that your certification will expire if you do not make a dispensary purchase within 120 days after receiving it.

Step 4: Purchasing

Your patient registration is complete after you’ve registered on the MMCC website and gained your physician certification. You must present your government-issued photo ID as well as a state-issued document verifying your Maryland patient certification when visiting a DC dispensary. 

While touring a Maryland dispensary, you must present your government-issued photo ID as well as your patient ID number. There are also several apps, such as Leafly or Weedmaps, along with websites that can assist patients in locating the best-rated dispensaries in their area.

Product Options

Based on the condition of the patient, a variety of products may be effective. A patient must be aware of their condition and conduct thorough research to determine which products are best for them. 

Patients can use a variety of resources to learn more about the effects and side effects of various strains. Interaction with the budtenders could also be very beneficial, given their extensive knowledge of the products.

How Much Marijuana Can I Purchase and Possess?

Eligible patients may buy and keep up to 120 grams of dried cannabis or 36 grams of a THC item every 30 days. However, if you obtain a special determination from a physician stating that you require more, you may be eligible for a larger allowance. 

Purchases in Maryland are calculated on a rolling 30-day cycle rather than per calendar month.

Cannabis edibles, by the way, are subject to strict regulations. Unless the MMCC approves the product, MMJ dispensaries cannot sell edibles containing more than 10mg of THC per dose and 100mg of THC per package.

Final Thoughts

The Maryland medical marijuana program is well-established and getting approved is easier than it was a few years ago. The maximum purchase amount is reasonable and should be sufficient for the majority of patients.

Although recreational cannabis is not currently legal, lawmakers are expected to introduce legislation in 2022. It remains to be seen whether it can overcome its opponents.