Getting a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts is not as complicated as it may seem to you if you have a qualifying medical condition and a few other prerequisites. There are a lot of advantages medical Marijuana users get over recreational Marijuana users. One of the most prominent ones is that medical marijuana is not subject to either the 17% state tax or 3% municipal tax, so you save money, what can be better? Moreover, you can enjoy the doorstep delivery service exclusively offered to medical Marijuana consumers. Even when there is a shortage of marijuana for recreational users, the supply doesn’t change for medical Marijuana users since the state has allocated a separate 35% medical-grade Marijuana to be reserved. After coming across all of these advantages, you should be pumped up in getting a medical Marijuana card made. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to get one, and we’ll guide you through the process through four simple steps so that you are well-acquainted with it!
- Determine if you qualify:
Before moving further, it is essential to figure out if you are eligible to start getting a medical marijuana card. Firstly, you must be a resident of Massachusetts and be of 18 years or older (unless a minor with a legal guardian). You have to provide proof of your residency as well, and there are many different ways you can do that:
- Utility Bill (less than 60 days old)
- Current MA Motor Vehicle Registration
- Tuition Bill (less than 60 days old)
- U.S. Marriage Certificate (dated within the past six months)
- Property Tax or Excise Tax Bill
- First Class Mail from Federal or State Agency (less than 60 days old)
- Car Insurance Policy or Bill (less than 60 days old)
- Current MA-issued Professional License
- Mortgage, Lease, or Loan (dated within the past six months)
Secondly, you have to determine if your medical condition permits you to get a Medical Marijuana card. Conditions permitted by the Commonwealth include:
- Hepatitis C
- Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS)
- Crohn’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Or any other extenuating condition which is determined by a certified physician in writing.
Some “other” conditions that are qualified for the M.A. Medical Marijuana program include the following:
- Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Seizures or muscle spasms
- Severe nausea
- Chronic pain
- Certification from a qualified physician:
The law outlines that a physician should analyze if the benefits of Cannabis’s treatment outweigh the risks associated with it. It is important to note that only doctors who have registered through the Medical Use of Marijuana Program can provide certification. While talking to your doctor, honesty is key, so be completely honest about why you think marijuana is the best solution for your health problem. If your doctor agrees with your situation, he will provide a written recommendation allowing the issuance of your card, and he will also be required to submit an electronic confirmation. As soon as the certification process is completed, the state will provide you with a unique PIN code to access the portal and complete your patient application.
- Submit your application:
You’re halfway through the process, just some more work, and you’re there! Now, once you get your 4 digit PIN via email, you will be supposed to create an account on “Mass.gov Virtual Gateway” and submit the scanned/image of your Photo ID. Once you’re done with this, you will be receiving another email permitting you to set up your patient account. Note that the valid forms of I.D. include M.A. driver’s license, M.A. Identity Card (with photo), U.S. Passport, and U.S. Military ID. In the case you provide the last 2 documents, you will also have to provide your proof of residency, as we outlined earlier.
Then you should start to set up your patient account. Note that you will be required to submit a $50 application fee or submit proof of low income to request a fee waiver. We’d recommend rechecking your application for any errors before submitting it. The processing time is usually 4 weeks. Although we have discussed the online form, there is a paper option available as well, but that comes at the cost of longer processing time. If you want to avail of that option, simply call (617) 660-5370 and make your request.
- Receive your card:
If your application has been approved, you will receive a temporary printable version of the card you can use to access pharmacies. Make sure to keep that card with you most times since you’ll be using that until your permanent one arrives. Congratulations, you’re done with the process, stay healthy!