How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Massachusetts


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In November 2008, Massachusetts decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Four years later, a majority 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 an MA medical card, and this guide will show you how to do so.

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Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Laws

In Massachusetts, adults aged 21+ can buy and possess up to an ounce of marijuana. It is also legal for adults to possess up to 10 ounces in the home. However, if caught with more than an ounce without an MMJ card, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor and could spend up to six months in prison. A second offense could result in a two-year jail term.

medical marijuana massachusetts

You could also spend up to two years in prison if found guilty of possessing any amount with intent to distribute.

With a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts, you can purchase and possess significantly more weed. Therefore, it could be worth your while to apply for one.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Massachusetts

Before proceeding, please note that you must provide documentation such as a utility bill or a loan/mortgage/lease dated within the previous six months when applying for your MMJ card.

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

Step 1 – Schedule a Consultation

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 will 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.

The doctor you use must hold a full license, have no prescribing restrictions, and possess a Massachusetts-controlled substance registration. They must also 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 – Sign up for a Massachusetts State Government Account

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 – Register with the Official MA Medical Marijuana Program

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.

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. Ensure 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.

If you need to change any information on the MMJ Online System, please do so within five business days of submitting your application.

Step 4 – Visit a Dispensary

Once approved, you can print a temporary MMJ card while you wait for the state to mail you a physical card. By doing so, you can visit a dispensary to buy marijuana immediately.

Who Can Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in MA?

To apply for a medical marijuana card in MA, you must be a state resident aged 18+ with a debilitating medical condition.

Cost of MMJ Card in MA

The medical marijuana card cost in MA only involves the doctor’s consultation fee. There is no charge for registering for an MMJ card in Massachusetts. A physician’s consultation generally costs between $150 and $200, but you should shop around to see if you can get a good deal.

MA MMJ Card Qualifying Conditions

The list of MA medical marijuana card qualifying conditions includes:

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

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

How Long Does It Take to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in MA?

All applications are reviewed in order of the 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.

How to Renew My Massachusetts Medical Card?

You must renew your MMJ patient status before your card expires. The process involves visiting a doctor for another consultation, receiving recertification, and renewing online.  Remember, your card is valid for 12 months.

Other Information on the MA Medical Marijuana License Process

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

medical marijuana in massachusetts

What Types of Cannabis Can I Purchase in MA?

Once you have an MMJ card in Massachusetts, you have a huge range of options. Dispensaries sell marijuana flower, concentrate, kief, vape products, edibles, pre-rolls, and much more.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in MA Online

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

Can I Register My Child for Medical Marijuana in MA?

Yes. Qualifying patients aged 17 or under must be approved by two licensed physicians operating in Massachusetts. Both doctors must diagnose the patient with a debilitating, life-limiting illness or condition.

Where Can I Purchase MMJ in Massachusetts?

Take your pick! According to the state’s Cannabis Control Commission, there are almost 400 MMJ and recreational dispensaries in MA. Remember to bring your card to benefit from higher purchasing limits.

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.

medical marijuana card in massachusetts

If you wish to spread your purchases out, each 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 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, the last day of your new waiting period. We hope this makes sense!

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

Can You Grow Marijuana in Massachusetts with a Medical Marijuana Card?

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. According to MA law, MMJ patients and adults aged 21+ can grow up to six plants, while a household with 2+ adults can grow 12.

Legally, you are allowed to give away up to one ounce from your harvest. However, selling marijuana for a profit without a commercial license is illegal.

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 MMJ?

You can only use your marijuana in a private residence. It is illegal to use it in public or on federal land.

Does Massachusetts Have a Reciprocity Program?

Technically, the answer is no because MA doesn’t recognize out-of-state MMJ cards. However, Massachusetts permits recreational sales to anyone aged 21+.

What Are the Caregiver Rules?

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, but one must be a member of your immediate family. Caregivers must be 21+ and can help up to five MMJ patients. Appointing a caregiver is also optional for patients aged 21+.

What If I Lose My Medical Card in Massachusetts?

If you lose your MMJ card in Massachusetts, you must contact the Medical Use of Marijuana Program and request a replacement. The fee for a new card is $10.

When Did Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts Become Legal?

Massachusetts was the first state to prohibit cannabis, which it did in 1911 (or 1914, according to some sources). The substance remained completely illegal until MA decriminalized it in 2008. In November 2012, 63% of the state’s residents approved the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Program, also known as Question 3. MMJ sales began in January 2013.

In November 2016, voters approved Question 4, legalizing recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. Sales began in November 2018.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Boston

Many clinics in the Boston area provide certification, and you can get an online consultation. Once you have your MMJ card, feel free to visit one of Boston’s many dispensaries.

MMJ Card for Veterans in MA

Although PTSD isn’t one of the official qualifying conditions, patients could be approved for MMJ for this condition by their doctor. Veterans in Massachusetts may also find that certain clinics offer discounts. Some providers hold monthly sweepstakes for veterans, and the winner earns a free consultation.

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.

Need a Medical Marijuana Card ?

Let us help by Starting Here
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