How do I register as a patient or caregiver? How can I obtain an ID card?
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission is planning to post the patient and caregiver registration forms on the website approximately 6 months prior to the expected availability of medical cannabis in licensed dispensaries. (find link)
Do I need to go to a special clinic to get a medical cannabis card?
No. Any licensed physician in good standing in Maryland can register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission to issue certifications to qualify patients to obtain and use medical cannabis. Ask your primary care physician if she or he is registered, and discuss whether medical cannabis would benefit your medical condition.
There is no need to pay any person or organization any fee other than the fee your physician charges for the doctor visit.
Where can I obtain medical cannabis?
A Maryland patient can only obtain legal medical cannabis from Maryland-licensed dispensaries. The dispensaries can only obtain their cannabis from Maryland-licensed growers, and their extracts from Maryland-licensed processors.
How do I become a legal patient?
On the Commission’s website, a patient will register by providing name, address, date of birth, and uploading an image of a government ID.
Once registered, a patient will go to a doctor who has registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission to obtain a “written certification.”
How do I get a “written certification”?
A patient needs an in-person visit with a registered physician with whom the patient has a “bona fide physician-patient relationship.” If the patient meets the physician’s criteria for treatment with medical cannabis, the physician will issue a written certification. The physician records the written certification on the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission’s website.
What is a “bona fide physician-patient relationship”?
It means the physician has examined the patient, reviewed medical records, assessed the patient’s medical history, maintains records on the patient, and will provide follow-up care to the patient as needed.
What do I do after I get the “written certification?”
The patient can go to any dispensary to pick up medical cannabis. Some dispensaries will deliver medical cannabis to the patient’s home. The dispensary must check the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission's website to confirm that the patient has a “written certification” and confirm the patient’s identity. The dispensary will record how much medical cannabis has been dispensed to the patient.
How long will it take to obtain a written certification?
After the doctor has examined the patient and the patient’s records, the physician may issue the patient a written certification.
Will there be a list of physicians who can issue written certifications for medical cannabis?
The Maryalnd Medical Cannabis Commission will not publish a list. The dispensary may be able to provide a list of physicians of which we are aware.
For what conditions or diseases can my physician write a written certification?
Any condition that is severe, for which other medical treatments have been ineffective, and if the symptoms “reasonably can be expected to be relieved” by the medical use of Cannabis.
In addition, if the patient has a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes severe loss of appetite, wasting, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures or severe or persistent muscle spasms, or glaucoma or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Do I need a patient ID card?
No. An ID card would be helpful, but any state issued ID is acceptable.
I am traveling and I want an ID card. Can I obtain one?
Yes. A patient ID card is optional. A patient ID card will cost $50.
How do I apply for a patient ID card?
You can request an ID card when you receive your written certification or apply for one later. While a card is not required, it may offer patients additional legal protections.
I lost my patient ID card, or it was stolen or damaged
There will be a process to apply for a replacement card.
A replacement card will cost $100.
How much medical cannabis (dried flower) can a qualifying patient possess at one time?
No more than 120 grams — or approximately four ounces— for a 30-day supply, unless a physician makes a special determination that a patient needs more.
Is there a maximum amount of THC in an extract that a patient can get in a month?
Yes, 36 grams of THC.
Will cannabis oil be considered a type of medical cannabis?
Yes, if the cannabis oil is produced by a Maryland-licensed processor.
How will patient confidentiality be assured?
Federal law (HIPAA) requires that we — along with physicians and dispensaries — protect patient privacy and confidentiality. Our database will meet HIPAA standards and protect patient confidentiality.
I want to become a caregiver. How can I become one?
Caregivers are only appointed by patients. If a patient selects you to be a caregiver, you must submit an application through the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission’s website. Caregivers cannot care for more than five qualifying patients.
Can patients cultivate their own cannabis? Can a caregiver cultivate cannabis for patients?
No, Maryland law will not allow this.
Where can I legally travel with medical cannabis?
A legal patient may travel to any location in the state of Maryland. Maryland cannot authorize you to travel to other states or countries. Possession of cannabis is against federal law. Most states do not recognize legal medical cannabis. Many medical cannabis states will not recognize the validity of out-of-state medical cannabis authorizations.
My child needs medical cannabis. Can he or she get it legally?
Children who meet their physician’s criteria for treatment can become legal patients in Maryland. However, children must have a parent or guardian serve as a caregiver.
Can veterans get medical cannabis?
Veterans can obtain medical cannabis in the same way as other patients, but not from the Veterans Affairs health system. Veterans need to make sure that using medical cannabis will not disqualify them from Veterans Affairs health system procedures they might need.
What if a qualifying patient changes their mailing address?
The patient who changes their address should notify the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) within 3 days. It can be done easily by visiting the MMCC’s website.
What if I want to obtain medical cannabis from a different dispensary?
A patient may obtain medical cannabis from a dispensary of their choice. The patient’s written certification will be recorded in the Mayrland Medical Cannabis Commision’s database and can be confirmed by any licensed dispensary.
What happens if I am stopped by law enforcement?
Patients do not have to disclose that they possess medical cannabis and do not have to consent to a search. However, if a search is conducted and medical cannabis is found, the patient should present their patient ID card or direct law enforcement to our database.
I don’t want to smoke cannabis. Will edible medical cannabis products be available in Maryland?
Medical cannabis will be available in forms which can be vaporized which is not smoking, or as extracts, lotions, ointments, tinctures, etc.
Some extracts can be added to foods at home.
Edible cannabis products will not be available from dispensaries in Maryland.
Will health insurers cover the cost of medical cannabis?
Health insurers are not required to cover the cost of medical cannabis.
What fees do patients have to pay the Commission to get medical cannabis?
Patients do not have to pay the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission to register. There are no fees, unless a qualifying patient desires an ID card.
Is there a residency requirement to participate in the medical cannabis program?
Any person who lives in Maryland can participate in the program. A person from out-of-state who is in the state for the purpose of receiving medical care can be issued a written certification and obtain medical cannabis.
Will Maryland dispensaries recognize other state medical cannabis ID cards?
Not at this time.
Can you provide me with information on replacing opioids with medical cannabis for treatment of chronic pain?
Please discuss this question with your physician.
My employer tests for drug use including cannabis. Can they test me if I am a medical cannabis patient? Can they fire me if I use medical cannabis?
Maryland law does not prevent an employer from testing for use of cannabis (for any reason) or taking action against an employee who tests positive for use of cannabis (for any reason).
Are there drugs that are known to interact with medical cannabis for which my physician would exclude my qualification in the program?
Please discuss this question with your physician.
My primary care physician does not think that medical cannabis is a good idea, but I think it will benefit my condition. What can I do?
Patients often seek a second opinion from another physician. Patients may have a complex medical condition that is not responding well to conventional treatment or find the side effects and risks of a treatment are unacceptable.
A patient may establish a bona fide physician patient relationship with any licensed Maryland physician who is in good standing, who is or plans to register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) in order to be evaluated to determine if the patient will benefit from the use of medical cannabis.
The MMCC will not be posting a list of such physicians, but physicians who specialize in the treatment of certain conditions or the use of certain specialized techniques or interventions often advertise.
Are the Physician registry and Patient registry linked?
Yes, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission's (MMCC) database system does link the physician and patient registries through the written certifications. Each patient may only have one written certification and one certifying physician at a time. After 30 days, a patient may seek renewal of the written certification; the renewal certification supersedes the previous written certification. A certifying physician may terminate a written certification.
Physicians, patients and caregivers registered with MMCC may view information on the written certifications pertaining to them on the MMCC database system. Agents of dispensaries licensed by MMCC can also view information on written certifications.
Does the physician have to be registered as a certifying physician before the patient visit in order to provide a written certification for the patient?
A physician must be registered as a certifying physician before providing a qualifying patient with a written certification.
Does the patient need to be registered before the patient visit in order to obtain a written certification for the patient?
Yes, the patient must submit an application to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) in order to register before a physician can provide a written certification for the patient. The application process to register with MMCC can be completed on-line. The patient must provide basic information, including name, address, date of birth, an image of a government ID, and a recent picture for ID purposes. MMCC staff will review the application and notify the patient of their unique 25-digit ID registration number.
Does a patient need an ID card from MMCC?
No, a patient does not need an ID card from the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) to participate in the program. The patient must be registered with the MMCC in order for a physician to provide a written certification for the patient. The patient will need a government-issued ID card (e.g., driver’s license or passport) for proof of identity when purchasing the medical cannabis at a licensed dispensary. A patient can have a copy of the written certification when purchasing medical cannabis at a licensed dispensary. The written certification will also be submitted electronically by the certifying physician by logging onto the website of the MMCC.
When will edibles and/or additional conditions be added to the regulations?
Edibles and additional medical conditions may be added at a later date, pending enactment of new legislation and regulations.
How many caregivers can one patient have?
A patient may designate up to two persons as caregivers.
What is the minimum age for a caregiver?
Caregivers must be 21 years old or older.
Can a caregiver be a family member?
Yes, a caregiver may be a family member.
How much medical cannabis and medical cannabis-infused product can a patient obtain in 30 days?
The General Assembly directed the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) to determine the amount of medical cannabis that would constitute a 30-day supply. Medical cannabis and medical cannabis-infused products will vary in their cannabinoid profile and potencies. The MMCC wanted to ensure that patients would be able to obtain sufficient medical cannabis each month to provide relief of their symptoms, and established 120 grams of usable cannabis (primarily dried flower) as a 30-day supply.
The MMCC also recognized that medical cannabis-infused products could not be measured in the same way as usable cannabis, and set a limit of 36 grams of THC as a 30-day supply. Each batch of usable cannabis will state the THC quantity (expressed as a percentage). The dispensary will calculate the weight of the THC in each transaction of usable cannabis, and will not dispense medical cannabis-infused products in a 30 day period that exceeds the 36 gram limit.