Maryland has a medical marijuana program where qualified patients must join the registry in order to access marijuana from licensed dispensaries. The program implementation has been delayed significantly, but it's possible the first openings could occur in late 2015 or early 2016.
01. How do I register as a patient or caregiver? How can I obtain an ID card?
The 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. Due to the large volume of applications for Grower, Processor and Dispensary licenses, the timeline is being re-evaluated, and will impact the timing of the posting of patient and caregiver registration forms and ID cards. Please continue to monitor this page and the MMCC web site for updates. (12/1/15)
02. 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 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.
03. 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.
04. When can I get medical cannabis?
Due to the large volume of Grower, Processor and Dispensary applications the Commission received as of the 11/6/15 deadline, a timeline has not been finalized. Please continue to monitor the MMCC web site for updates.
05. 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 Commission to obtain a “written certification.”
06. 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 Commission’s website.
07. 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.
08. 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 Commission 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.
09. 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.
10. Will there be a list of physicians who can issue written certifications for medical cannabis?
The Commission will not publish a list.
11. 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).
12. Do I need a patient ID card?
13. 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.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. How much medical cannabis (dried flower) can a qualifying patient possess at one time?
No more than 120 grams — or approximately four ounces, unless a physician makes a special determination that a patient needs more.
17. Is there a maximum amount of THC in an extract that a patient can get in a month?
Yes, 36 grams of THC.
18. Will cannabis oil be considered a type of medical cannabis?
Yes, if the cannabis oil is produced by a Maryland-licensed processor.
19. 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.
20. 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 Commission’s website. Caregivers cannot care for more than five qualifying patients.
21. Can patients cultivate their own cannabis? Can a caregiver cultivate cannabis for patients?
No, Maryland law will not allow this.
22. 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.
23. 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.
24. 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.
25. 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.
26. 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).
27. My primary care physician does not think that medical cannabis is a good idea, but I think it has benefited 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 Medical Cannabis Commission in order to be evaluated to determine if the patient will benefit from the use of medical cannabis. The Commission 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.
28. How much medical cannabis and medical cannabis-infused product can a patient obtain in 30 days?
The General Assembly directed the Commission 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 Commission 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 Commission 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.
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