How to Get a Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Card [2022 Guide]

Overview
If you're wondering how to get a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts, take a look at our guide. We detail the requirements, criteria, and steps you can take. If you're a patient suffering from a chronic or debilitating illness, an MMJ card may work for you.
State Program
Approved on
JANUARY 1, 2013
Online Application
Yes
MD Evaluation
Required
Yes
Card Validity
12Months
Patient Registry fee
$0
Phone:
(833) 869-6820
Official Gov Site:
mass.gov

CONSULTATION FEE RANGE

  • $150 – $200

MMJ PURCHASING LIMITS

  • MAXIMUM OF 10 OUNCES EVERY 60 DAYS ON A ROLLING BASIS

HOME CULTIVATION?

  • YES

MINIMUM AGE LIMIT

  • 18

LIST OF QUALIFYING CONDITIONS FOR A MEDICAL MARIJUANA CARD IN MASSACHUSETTS

  • Cancer
  • Hepatitis C
  • ALS
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Crohn’s disease

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Other conditions of a debilitating nature may receive approval if the patient’s healthcare provider determines them as such in writing. Such conditions can include PTSD, chronic pain of at least six months, and chronic muscle spasms.

In November 2008, Massachusetts decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. Four years later, 63% of the state’s voters approved Question 3 and legalized medicinal marijuana, and the law came into effect in January 2013.

Three years later, Massachusetts legalized recreational marijuana via Question 4. It took a while to get things in order, but the state began adult-use sales in November 2018. Even so, Massachusetts MMJ patients still receive benefits such as lower taxes, higher THC limits, and a broader range of products.

Therefore, it is worth getting a Massachusetts medical marijuana card, and we show you how to in this guide.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in MA

Before you proceed, please note that all applicants must be residents of Massachusetts, at least 18 years of age, and suffer from a debilitating medical condition. You will need to provide documentation such as a utility bill or a loan/mortgage/lease dated within the previous six months.

Now, let’s find out how to get a medical cannabis card in Massachusetts.

Step 1 – Receive a Doctor’s Recommendation

Once you have established your basic eligibility, it is time to book an appointment with a licensed physician within the state. We recommend bringing your medical records with you.

During the meeting, the doctor will ask a few questions about your medical history, and together, you discuss whether marijuana is suitable for your condition. If the doctor is satisfied that cannabis is potentially useful, they will provide you with certification, enabling you to get medical marijuana in MA.

Your doctor must hold a full license, have no prescribing restrictions, and possess a Massachusetts-controlled substance registration.

Please note that a doctor can certify you for periods ranging from 15 to 365 days. If you’re certified for less than 365 days, you’ll need to get recertified before the initial period ends.

The doctor you use must hold a full license, have no prescribing restrictions, and possess a Massachusetts-controlled substance registration. Also, they must have at least one established practice within the state.

State law requires you to have a ‘bona fide’ physician-patient relationship. After you receive certification, you also get a PIN from the state. Please keep it safe because it is an essential part of registration.

Step 2 – Register for the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Program

The fastest registration method is via the official Massachusetts medical marijuana program website. However, if you can’t register online, you can request a lengthy paper registration process by calling (833) 869-6820. Once you become a patient, register with the program’s virtual gateway.

Before registration, make sure you have the following:

  • Access to a device that can upload documents.
  • A valid form of ID such as a state driver’s license, state ID card, U.S. military ID, or a U.S. passport. You must also produce another document proving your residency in Massachusetts for the latter two options.
  • A photo of yourself taken within the last six months; in color.
  • A form of payment or proof of financial hardship.
  • The PIN provided by the state.

The application form is reasonably straightforward once you have all the necessary information.

Step 3 – Navigate the Virtual Gateway for MMJ

In January 2020, the state’s Cannabis Control Commission’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program Online System migrated from its MMJ virtual gateway to the Massachusetts Cannabis Industry Portal. This decision ensured users benefited from a more user-friendly service with fewer interruptions.

massachusetts medical marijuana card

You will receive an email from the Virtual Gateway during the registration process. This email contains a link that you need to click to complete the process. Make sure you monitor your account because the link can expire just seven days after receiving it. Also, it is only valid the first time you click on it.

Step 4 – Wait for Your MMJ Card

If you need to change any information on the MMJ Online System, please do so within five business days of submitting your application. All applications are reviewed in order of date received. The program mails your Plastic ID card 7-10 days after your application is approved.

The Cannabis Control Commission also has a program called Initial Access that enables you to visit a medical marijuana dispensary as soon as you receive approval. Rather than waiting for the plastic ID card, you can print a temporary one directly from your computer. It is valid for 14 days and enables you to buy a maximum of 2.5 ounces of medical-use cannabis.

Please note that providers such as Veriheal enable you to quickly and easily get your Massachusetts MMJ card. Such companies help book an appointment with a doctor on your behalf and assist you in the overall registration process.

Other Information on the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Process

As is the case with every MMJ program, prospective patients have many questions. We try our best to answer as many as possible below.

How Much Cannabis Can I Buy & Possess?

In Massachusetts, MMJ patients can purchase and possess up to a 60-day supply as prescribed by their physician. The maximum amount is 10 ounces. In contrast, recreational users are limited to an ounce of flower or five grams of concentrate.

Please note that you have access to the 10 ounces on a rolling basis across a 60-day schedule. If you buy all 10 ounces at once, you must wait 60 days to buy again. Incidentally, one gram of concentrate is the equivalent of 5.3 grams of flower.

In the more likely event that you wish to spread your purchases out, please note that each one has a 60-day waiting period. While you can continue buying until you reach the 10-ounce limit during the 60-day timeline, your ‘balance’ goes up or down.

For instance, if your first purchase is three ounces on March 1, you can buy a maximum of seven ounces until April 29, which is the last day of your ‘waiting period.’ If you happen to buy five more ounces on March 24, for example, you can now buy only two ounces until April 29. Moreover, you can only buy five more ounces until May 23, which is the last day of your ‘new’ waiting period. We hope this makes sense!

Both MMJ patients and recreational users can store up to 10 ounces of cannabis at home.

Does My MMJ Card Allow Me to Cultivate Cannabis at Home?

Yes, but you can only cultivate marijuana inside your primary residence. In other words, you can’t store it in an outbuilding or a shed.

Individuals aged 21+ can grow up to six plants, while a household with 2+ adults can grow a maximum of 12 plants.

Legally, you are allowed to give away up to one ounce from your harvest. However, it is illegal to sell marijuana for a profit without a commercial license. Individuals aged 21+ can grow up to six plants, while a household with 2+ adults can grow a maximum of 12 plants.

In Massachusetts, it is possible to apply for Hardship Cultivation, meaning MMJ patients can grow enough marijuana to ensure they have a 60-day supply.

Where Can I Use My Marijuana?

In Massachusetts, you can only use your cannabis in a private residence. Your MMJ card won’t save you from legal trouble if you are caught using it in public. Public consumption of cannabis or smoking it in areas where tobacco smoking is forbidden could result in a fine of $100.

Also, your landlord is legally allowed to prevent the use of weed in their property, regardless of whether you are an MMJ patient or not. Check your lease thoroughly before signing.

Can I Assign a Caregiver?

Yes. Massachusetts MMJ patients can choose a personal caregiver to help with their medical use of cannabis. After your registration is approved, you can name a maximum of two caregivers who do NOT have another assigned patient. There is an exception to this rule if your caregiver is a member of your immediate family. Caregivers must be aged 21+.

Does Massachusetts Have a Reciprocity Agreement?

Technically, the answer is no, because MA doesn’t recognize out-of-state MMJ cards. However, it does offer reciprocity regarding the possession of medical marijuana within the state, up to a maximum of one ounce. Massachusetts also permits recreational sales to anyone aged 21+.

Where Can I Purchase MMJ in Massachusetts?

Take your pick! There are over 170 MMJ and recreational dispensaries in MA. Remember to bring your card to benefit from higher purchasing limits.

Final Thoughts on Getting a Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Card

Although recreational cannabis sales are legal in Massachusetts, applying for an MMJ card still offers advantages. You benefit from lower-priced products and can purchase a greater quantity of higher-potency items. MA also has one of the highest possession limits of any medical marijuana program in the United States. Apply today if you’re interested in getting your MMJ card in Massachusetts.

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