Medical Marijuana in Maryland: What You Need to Know
May 28th, 2019
Policy, State Marijuana Laws
Medical marijuana was legalized in Maryland in 2018 after years of debate in the General Assembly. Since then, the state has registered more than 17,000 patients, authorized more than 500 doctors, nurses, and dentists, and licensed more than 100 dispensaries located throughout the state.
The state cannabis industry is regulated by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, or MMCC, which handles both patient and physician registration, as well as the licensing of authorized medical marijuana dispensaries.
Let’s take a look at what medical conditions quality for medical marijuana, how to register as a patient, and where to purchase medical marijuana as a patient.
Qualifying Medical Conditions
The MMCC is ‘encouraged to approve’ medial marijuana recommendations for several conditions where cannabis has been shown to be effective. Patients must be Maryland residents with a qualifying condition that’s diagnosed by a doctor or other medical professional.
The MMCC’s list of medical conditions include:
- Patients in hospice or palliative care.
- Patients with cachexia, anorexia, or wasting syndrome.
- Patients with severe or chronic pain.
- Patients with nausea, seizures, or muscle spasms.
- Patients with severe medical conditions where available treatments are ineffective and medical marijuana can be “reasonably” expected to provide relief.
- Patients with glaucoma or post-traumatic stress disorder.
Minors under the age of 18 are required to have at least one caregiver assigned to their accounts at all times. Caregivers must be parents legal guardians over the age of 21 that are registered with the MMCC prior to registering the patient.
How to Register as a Patient
The process to register as a Maryland medical marijuana patient is relatively straightforward and most of the process can be completed at a doctor’s office and online.
The three basic steps in the process include:
- Register online with the MMCC. You will need a government-issued photo ID, proof of address, a clear recent photo, and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
- Obtain a written certification from a provider registered with the MMCC. The provider must provide the patient’s commission-issued Patient ID number to issue the certification through the MMCC’s application.
- Purchase medical cannabis within 120 days to avoid the certification becoming null and avoid. Dispensaries will require a Patient ID number.
You can view detailed overview of the process on the MMCC’s website: https://mmcc.maryland.gov/Pages/process_to_obtain.aspx.
Where to Purchase Medical Marijuana
Maryland has approved more than 100 dispensaries and a growing number of those approved have opened their doors. Under the current law, there can be no more than two dispensaries in each of the state’s 47 legislative districts, although that doesn’t include licensed growers that can be a dispensary.
Each dispensary offers different strains of marijuana that may be effective for different medical conditions. In addition to dried cannabis, many dispensaries offer extracts and oils that can be used in vape pens, topicals, pills, and other consumption methods and devices.
The MMCC provides an updated list of all dispensaries on its website: https://mmcc.maryland.gov/Pages/dispensaries.aspx.
Where to Go for Help
The best way to get help in the process is to consult with a licensed doctor or medical professional. In addition to advising you on your medical conditions, they can help you register as a patient to get the medicine you need.
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