Disclaimer: In this article, we promote an online service called Veriheal. While this is a paid partnership, we never promote products we don’t believe in.
If you have a qualifying condition, you may be able to apply for a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts. Here’s everything you need to know about the Bay State’s MMJ program.
Qualifying Debilitating Conditions
Patients who have one of the following debilitating medical conditions may be eligible to participate in Massachusetts’ Medical Use of Marijuana Program:
- Positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Other debilitating conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s healthcare provider
Before registering as a patient with Massachusetts’ MMJ program, patients will need to get certification from a qualified health care provider.
The quickest and easiest way to get a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts is to speak to a licensed physician online that will evaluate and approve you. We highly recommend, a service like Veriheal.
For $199 per license, we’ve found Veriheal to be incredibly easy to use. They even guarantee your medical card or your money back!
Regardless of who you go with, the healthcare provider will give certification to confirm that the patient has been diagnosed with one of the debilitating medical conditions needed to participate in the state’s MMJ program.
During the appointment, the health care provider will complete and document a full assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition and explain the potential benefits and risks of cannabis use.
The healthcare provider is expected to maintain an ongoing role in the care and treatment of the patient, though the specifics of that role is not defined by the law.
Once your health care provider gives you certification, you will receive a PIN number from the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) via email. This email will also explain how to begin the registration process.
Applying for a Medical Marijuana Card in Massachusetts
In order to register online, patients will need the following materials:
- The PIN number they received from their health care provider.
- A current, acceptable form of ID such as an MA driver’s license, state issued ID card, US passport, or US military ID. Patients who submit a passport or military ID will also need to submit proof of Massachusetts residency.
- A current, acceptable photo. Patients who register online will be able to use their driver’s license photo during the “upload photo” step. They can also submit their own photo as long as it follows the requirements outlined in this registration guide.
The application may be submitted online or by mail. Patients who apply by mail must call (833) 869-6820 to receive the paper application.
First time online registrants will need to register with Virtual Gateway. Upon successful registration, the patient will receive an email with their username and a link that will take them to the login page.
Once registration with Virtual Gateway is complete, patients can login and register with the Medical Use of Marijuana Online System.
Appointing a Caregiver
Once their registration has been accepted, patients may name up to 2 caregivers who may help them obtain and use medical cannabis. A caregiver may not be designated caregivers for any other patient, unless that caregiver is an immediate family member.
That means that a patient’s parent may be the caregiver for their child even if they are a designated caregiver for another patient.
Caregivers are required to register with the MMJ program. They can do so online.
Replacing a Lost ID Card
A plastic MMJ ID card will be mailed to the patient once the registration is approved. If the card is lost, patients are required to report this within 5 days. They can request a new card through their online account or send a letter to the program requesting a new card.
The fee for replacing a lost ID card is $10. Patients who make an online replacement request can pay by card.
Patients who send their request in the mail must include a check for $10 made payable to “The Commonwealth of Massachusetts” along with their replacement request letter.
There is no fee for registering with Massachusetts’ MMJ program. There is no application fee or renewal fee. The only time patients will be required to pay a fee is if they lost their program ID card. That fee is $10.
Massachusetts eliminated the registration fee in 2019 to make the MMJ program more accessible. The rules that approved this change also require dispensaries to create financial hardship plans designed to make medical marijuana more accessible to low-income and disabled patients.
Patients are required to keep their MMJ ID cards on them at all times when in possession of medical cannabis.
The only legal place to purchase cannabis in Massachusetts is from a licensed dispensary. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the CCC has issued a temporary order allowing for the curbside pickup of cannabis products from licensed dispensaries.
Adults aged 21 and over may grow up to 6 cannabis plants in their homes. A registered caregiver must be responsible for home-grown cannabis used for a minor MMJ patient.
Renewing Patient Registration and the Program ID Card
There are 3 important expiration dates patients must be aware of:
- Certification with their health care provider
- Patient registration
- Program ID card
Patients will need to renew their certification. The certifying healthcare provider determines the expiration date of each certification based on the patient’s needs. Patients are responsible for keeping track of when their certification expires and scheduling a renewal appointment with a qualified health care provider. Without updated certification, patients will not be able to register with the program or receive a program ID card.
Patient registration with the program expires annually. In order to renew their registration online, patients will need to use the same username and password they used for their initial registration. Patients should apply for renewal 60 days before their registration expiration date. This gives the MMJ program time to process the renewal before the patient loses access to their medicine.
Finally, patients will need to renew their program ID card every 3 years. Patients must renew their registration prior to renewing their ID card. It is recommended that patients renew their registration 60 days in advance of their program ID card’s expiration date.