Are you thinking about how you can legally consume marijuana in Massachusetts? Let me help you consider your options.
First, you could limit yourself to one ounce of run-of-the-mill marijuana from retail dispensaries.
Or, you can get your MMJ card and purchase up to 10 ounces of medical-grade cannabis products reserved specifically for MA cardholders.
I know, there’s not much to consider!
Read on to learn how you can easily get your medical marijuana card In Massachusetts online.
Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Program
Medical marijuana was first approved in Massachusetts on November 6, 2012. This is when voters approved Question 3. Massachusetts became the 18th state to permit medical cannabis.
Question 3, or the MA Medical Marijuana Initiative, made it possible for a registered qualifying patient to purchase and possess up to a 60-day supply of medical cannabis.
The state has determined a 60-day supply to be no more than 10 ounces of flower. Or you can purchase and possess up to approximately 50 g of concentrate.
Question 3 also established a regulated system of dispensaries.
The new law went into effect in January of 2013, and the first dispensary began serving patients in June of 2015.
Question 4 passed in 2016. It made adult-use marijuana legal in Massachusetts as well.
This may make you wonder if getting a marijuana card in Massachusetts is still worth it. Spoiler alert, it is!
For non-medical users, the purchase and possession limit is one ounce of marijuana outside of the home. Or 10 ounces inside the home. Recreational users can only possess up to five grams of cannabis concentrate.
There are many more reasons to get your medical marijuana card that we will cover below.
MA Medical Cannabis Card Requirements
You must be at least 18 years old to get your Massachusetts medical marijuana card on your own.
If you are younger than 18 years old and your parent or legal guardian approves of medical marijuana use, you are in luck. You can still apply to join the Massachusetts medical marijuana program.
You will need certification from two separate health care providers. One of them must be a pediatrician or pediatric specialist.
Massachusetts cannabis patients may have up to two designated caregivers.
A personal caregiver assists their patients with the use of their medical cannabis. This can include a little or a lot of duties.
They may help with transporting a patient to and from a medical cannabis treatment center. Or, a caregiver might pick up and transport MMJ on behalf of the patient.
Caregivers may also prepare and administer medical cannabis to the patient.
Lastly, registered caregivers may be able to cultivate medical cannabis on behalf of their patients. The patient must have a hardship cultivation registration first.
Registered caregivers must be 21 years or older.
A background check needs to clear before a caregiver is designated. They must be free of any previous drug crime convictions.
Some of the other requirements state that caregivers can’t receive any compensation from patients. Nor consume or sell any medical marijuana products.
To become a caregiver, you must register using the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program online system.
In the state of Massachusetts medical use of marijuana is permitted for a list of specific qualifying medical conditions.
The doctor must also agree that your condition is debilitating to be approved for a Massachusetts medical card.
In MA medical use of marijuana is approved for:
- Hepatitis C
- Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
Note – A physician may also recommend medical marijuana for any other debilitating conditions. To do so, a certified medical marijuana doctor must outline this in writing.
How To Get Medical Marijuana Card In MA
There are four steps to getting your medical marijuana card in Massachusetts. After you complete these steps, you will be on your way to the dispensary!
1. Get a certification from a certifying healthcare provider
This is the first step as you must have a certification before you can register with the medical use of marijuana program.
To get your certification you must see a board-certified physician licensed to practice in Massachusetts. They will speak with you about your medical history and current health situation.
They will determine if you are eligible for medical marijuana in Massachusetts. If so they will provide you with a recommendation.
They may also provide advice and guidance about medical cannabis. You can ask them any questions you may have about MMJ, or how to use it.
You can complete this step through an online system, or in person. Doing this online is much cheaper and usually quicker and easier, too.
The well-established online services have money-back guarantees in case you don’t get approved. This way if you don’t get your MA medical card it costs you nothing.
After you have your certification, you will get your patient pin number. It will arrive in an email from the Massachusetts cannabis control commission. It will come along with instructions on how to register with the program.
2. Register as a new medical patient
To get things started, you need to register with the Massachusetts medical cannabis program registry. This is how to get your patient number.
Follow the instructions given to you in the email sent by the Cannabis Control Commission.
The program will review applications in the order they are received.
You can submit your registration by using the medical use of marijuana online system. This is the fastest and easiest way.
Or you can complete a paper registration. This is for people who are unable to register online. It is a lengthier process. You can call the program to request a paper registration form.
3. Complete your state application
Using your newly obtained MMJ recommendation and pin number you can complete your application with the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.
Make sure to grab your photo ID. You need a valid driver’s license or government-issued state ID card to provide Massachusetts residency. A U.S. passport or military ID will also work.
However, if you use one of the latter forms of ID you must also submit a document that proves Massachusetts residency. Some acceptable forms of proof of residency include:
- Recent utility bill
- Tuition bill
You will need to submit a photo of yourself to complete your online registration. You may be able to use your MA RMV photo, but if not you will need to submit one of yourself.
It will be the photo placed on your plastic Massachusetts marijuana card.
Your photo needs to be in front of a plain white background. It must be recent and show only your head and the top of your shoulders. Look directly at the camera with both eyes open. If you wear glasses do not wear them for your picture.
Submit the photo in jpg or pdf format with a file size no larger than two MB.
4. Get your medical card in the mail
Now that you have completed your state application and are approved for the medical use of marijuana, you can excitedly await your card in the mail.
When you get your card in Massachusetts, you must carry it with you at all times when you are in possession of any medical cannabis products and you will need it to buy from MA medical marijuana dispensaries.
You need to notify the program within five business days if your card is lost. You must request a new card through your online account.
There is a $10 fee to replace lost cards.
Registration renewal is required every year for your Massachusetts medical cannabis card. The expiration date on your program ID card is separate from your registration expiration.
It is highly recommended that you start your renewal process 60 days prior to the expiration of your registration. It can take time for the renewal to process. Start early to make sure your registration status doesn’t lapse.
Hint: Always use the same username and password that you did during your initial registration.
If there are any changes to your information, you must update the program. You have five business days to update your info. You can do this on your online portal.
MA Medical Marijuanas Card Online
Getting a Massachusetts medical marijuana card online is simple. In fact, it is the most simple option.
It beats scouring around for a locally licensed medical marijuana doctor. And it’s way better than dealing with an appointment schedule and paying hefty in-person appointment fees.
Online appointments usually take only a couple of minutes. And most people get a medical marijuana recommendation. They are valid for one year.
You already have to go online to register with the MA program registry to get your medical marijuana patient number. Why not do everything else you need to do online, too!
And they both have a money-back guarantee. So no matter which company you choose you will get a recommendation or you will not be charged.
- Seamlessly connect with a physician via Veriheal telehealth
- One simple fee
- Approved for MMJ or your money back!
Veriheal charges $199 for initial consultations and renewals. Leafwell charges $149 for their consultation and renewals in Massachusetts.
Veriheal also offers personalized cannabis coaching for people with specific, cannabis-related questions or need guidance on how to use it. And if you’re applying for a card in MA you get 1 session worth $79 for free!
If you use one of these services they make the process super simplified.
They will walk you through how to register as a new patient. Then they will connect you to a qualified medical marijuana doctor in Massachusetts. You can schedule a time to meet with them through a video call.
Then, if approved for a recommendation, they will help you apply for the state program.
If you have any questions during this process, they have excellent customer service teams to help. They are available through phone or email.
Literally, hundreds of thousands of medical marijuana patients already use these services to get and renew their medical cannabis cards. There are thousands of positive reviews from patients who recommend them to others.
After you get your MMJ card, there are some important dates you need to remember:
1. Program registration requirements
The program registration expires annually. So don’t forget to add your registration renewal date to your calendar 60 days prior to expiration.
2. Your program ID card renewal
Your physical program ID card in Massachusetts expires every three years. Start this renewal process 60 days prior to expiration also. It’s the best way to avoid any hiccups in your program eligibility.
3. Your certification date with your health care provider
You need to visit your health care provider to get recertified for medical marijuana use. This needs to be before your current certification expires.
Certification lengths can vary from person to person. It is up to the certifying physician to determine your certification length.
Make sure to add your certification expiration date to your calendar in case it is not on the same yearly time schedule as your program registration renewal.
MA Medical Card Benefits
There are plenty of benefits that make getting your Massachusetts marijuana card worth your while.
As an MA MMJ patient, you can get medical cannabis delivered right to your door. This is great as you won’t have to worry about driving to the dispensary to pick up your medication.
State laws exempt MA medical patients from paying taxes on medical cannabis. Thanks to this you can save up to 26% when it comes to taxes.
This is much better than what you pay in taxes when purchasing recreational weed. Adult-use consumers must pay a sales tax rate of 6.25%.
And they also have to pay a state excise tax which is 10.75%. Then they still may be required to local taxes charged by the city as well.
These taxes really add up if you are regularly purchasing marijuana to use as medication.
A great benefit of being a cardholder is that you get to avoid these taxes altogether. You pay for the price of your products, and that’s it.
Patients and caregivers can also grow marijuana. Just make sure you are staying within limits allowed by the MA MMJ program.
Those growing marijuana for recreational purposes is limited to growing six plants. But state law allows qualifying patients to grow up to a 60-day supply of cannabis at home.
There is a larger range of products available to patients compared to what’s available to recreational users.
When adult cannabis use became legal, the state stipulated that dispensaries must set aside 35% of medical-grade cannabis for medical patients. This was one way to protect the interest of patients that rely on marijuana for treatment.
Many counties in Massachusetts have bans on retail marijuana stores. So even though adult use is legal, it can be hard to access marijuana everywhere.
However, medical cannabis dispensaries are different. Having your medical card in Massachusetts means you have greater accessibility to cannabis products, no matter your country.
And you have access to a more extensive range of more potent product options.
For example, recreational dispensaries can only sell edibles with five mg or less of THC per serving. Adult users can only buy up to 100 mg of THC at one time.
But these limits do not apply to you if you have a marijuana card in Massachusetts.
This advantage means you can get the medicine that works best for your medical conditions, regardless of the potency or dosage amount. And you always have access to high-quality products that might only be available at licensed dispensaries.
Recreational users only have the option of paying cash for their adult-use products. But MA MMJ patients can pay via cash or card.
This is a huge pro since the world runs on cards and digital transactions outside of cannabis. You don’t have to worry about stopping by the bank or finding an ATM just to pick up your medication.
MMJ patients have priority at dispensaries in Massachusetts. This is another big benefit to getting your medical marijuana card. You get VIP treatment at dispensaries that service both medical and recreational consumers.
Some of the ways you get prioritized include:
- Quick check out through separate lines
- A broader selection of patient-reserved products
- Better access to on-site parking facilities
And that’s just to name a few. Many dispensaries even have entire areas dedicated to their medical patients. They make it easy for you can get in and out without a hitch.
Medical cardholders get to enjoy a larger possession limit than those for recreational use. Patients can have up to a 60-day supply with a maximum of 10 ounces of raw flower.
This is great because it means fewer trips to the dispensary. Or, fewer deliveries and shipping fees.
Perhaps one of the most important benefits, medical marijuana users in Massachusetts get legal protection when it comes to buying, possessing, and consuming cannabis products.
This can even extend to other states that have medical marijuana reciprocity. When you travel with a valid MMJ card to a state that recognizes out-of-state medical cards, then you may be able to purchase and consume medical marijuana legally. That is, as long as you adhere to their local regulations.
How Long Does It Take To Get Your Medical Card In The Mail MA
On average, it will take about three to five days to receive your MA medical card in the mail.
But it can take up to 30 days for some people. If you end up waiting longer than 30 days contact the program to get assistance.
Can MA Medical Marijuana Patients Grow Weed?
Yes! The law allows medical marijuana patients in Massachusetts to grow up to 12 flowering and 12 vegetative cannabis plants. You can do this in your home for personal use.
Adult-use consumers may only grow up to six cannabis plants each.
You may even apply for a Hardship Cultivation registration. That allows Registered Qualifying Patients to grow enough marijuana to yield a 60-day supply for personal medical use.
To apply for a Hardship Cultivation status, you must prove that your access to a medical marijuana treatment center is limited by specific conditions.
Some of the qualifying hardships include:
- Financial hardship
- Inability to transport your medication
- Lack of a treatment center within a reasonable distance from your home
If you meet the requirements, you may be approved to grow marijuana as a hardship cultivator. There are regulations you must adhere to.
You cannot sell or give any of your cannabis to anyone. It is only allowed to be consumed by the registered patient.
You must grow your marijuana in an enclosed and locked area that is not accessible to anyone else.
Your plants must not be visible from the street or any public areas. And you must follow the industry’s best practices for the cultivation and storage of marijuana plants.
To obtain your hardship cultivation registration, you must submit a non-refundable fee of $100. You may be able to get this waived by the Cannabis Control Commission.
Wrapping Up MA Medical Card
MA medical cannabis cards come with some great benefits.
If you are a qualifying patient and you don’t get a medical marijuana certification you are missing out on some quality perks.
And services like Leafwell and Veriheal minimize the hassle and risk so much that there truly is nothing to lose.
- Seamlessly connect with a physician via Veriheal telehealth
- One simple fee
- Approved for MMJ or your money back!
Make yourself an appointment to get a medical marijuana card In MA today.