Could you qualify for a Maryland medical cannabis card? Currently, more than 100,000 Maryland residents have qualified to access medical marijuana at one of the states over 100 dispensaries. Do you think you may qualify?
Here is some helpful advice on getting your Maryland medical cannabis card from our team of experts at Green Relief Health.
Maryland Medical Cannabis Card Qualifying Conditions
The first step in your journey to access medical cannabis is to see if you may have a qualifying condition. When the state legalized medical marijuana in 2014, they outlined in the law several conditions that will allow you to access medical marijuana. They have made it very easy to look at these qualifying conditions on the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission website. If you have at least one of the following conditions diagnosed by a doctor, chiropractor, or medical professional, you qualify:
- Wasting syndrome
- Severe pain
- Severe nausea
- Severe or persistent muscle spasms
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Chronic pain
Individuals may also qualify for a 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. And they are also eligible if their condition is a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care.
Proof of Residency
In addition to having one of the qualifying conditions outlined by the state, you must also be a Maryland resident to access medical marijuana. You can prove your residency in several different ways. Perhaps the most well know way to document your residency is through a state issued ID. This could either be a Maryland driver’s license or through a Maryland ID card. You may also show a military ID or a US Passport.
If you do not have one of these forms of ID that is OK because there are other ways you can establish your proof of residency. However, with these next ways to establish your residency you must be able to provide two forms of identification as opposed to just one form with the ways listed above. These documents must include the applicant’s name and address. They also cannot be from the same two agencies. An example of this is you could not use two different documents that are both from the MVA. The following list of documents are alternative forms of identification that can establish your residency.
• MVA registration card or title
• Utility, telephone, or cable/satellite TV bill
• Bank account statement
• Property tax bill
• Mortgage statement or proof of home ownership (Deed, Title, Bill of Sale)
• Major credit card bill (Visa, MasterCard, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.)
• Residential rental contract (lease or rental contract between landlord and tenant which includes all signatures).
• Selective Service Card
• Federal, state, or local government mail issued by the state of Maryland (i.e. Social Security, social services)
• Car insurance policy
It is important to note that any of these forms of identification must have a date from the past 90 days for them to be valid.
Applying With The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission
Once you have determined you meet the criteria for a Maryland medical cannabis card and can establish your residency, the next step in the process is to apply with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. The application is an easy process done right online. During this process, the state is going to ask basic questions about your condition to help determine if you qualify.
One important thing you will need to complete this online application process is an electronic copy of a recent photo of you. The photo should be like a passport or license photo. Specifically, it must be a clear, color photo of the patient’s unobscured face taken within the last six months to reflect the patient’s current appearance and feature a plain white or off-white background. The patient must be clothed, directly facing the camera with both eyes open and should have either a neutral facial expression or a natural smile. The patient must not be wearing a hat, head covering, sunglasses or dark glasses. The file must be an image file (.jpg) no larger than 3 MB in size and may not be digitally enhanced or altered in a way that changes the patient’s appearance.
This is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for many applying for their medical marijuana card. If your photo is not submitted properly, the state will reject your application, even if you would otherwise qualify.
Verify Your Email Address
As soon as you have completed and submitted an online application form, a verification email will be sent to the email address you provided on your application. You must click the verification link in the email message to verify your email account. Without performing this step, your application is not complete and will not be reviewed by the commission.
Maryland Medical Cannabis Provider
Once you have completed your application with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and they have approved your application, you will be issued a number from the commission. This number is what your Maryland certified cannabis provider will need during the certification process.
It is important that you make sure the provider you are visiting is registered with the state of Maryland to certify for medical cannabis. Just being a doctor or nurse practitioner does not automatically qualify a provider to certify for medical cannabis. The provider would have had to have gone through the process to certify patients for medical cannabis with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.
Gathering Your Medical Records
Once you have located the provider you are going to visit to certify you to receive medical marijuana it is time to start gathering your medical records. Your provider will need to see some documentation to establish that you have a valid qualifying condition to access medical cannabis. These records include, but are not limited to, things such as: pill bottles, prescriptions, medical records, doctor’s notes, studies, or anything else that confirms your medical history with the condition.
You will present these records to your provider who will then review them. If you meet the requirements outlined by the state, you will be certified to receive medical cannabis. It is important to note that a provider can see you either in person or through telemedicine during this process to certify you for medical cannabis.
Visit A Dispensary
The final step in the process of obtaining medical cannabis in Maryland is to visit a dispensary. Now that you are a certified medical cannabis patient, you can visit a dispensary to obtain medical marijuana products. The state of Maryland has over 100 dispensaries located through out the state. You are not required to go to any one dispensary but can go to whichever dispensary you would like. When you arrive at the dispensary you will have to show your Maryland medical cannabis card to purchase products. Dispensaries typically have very friendly and helpful staff that can walk you through the process and make recommendations on products that would work best for you.
Here are some other final thoughts that we give our patients:
- Start any new medication in the evening or weekend if you can stay home and relax; avoid any work hours.
- Patients should be aware that it often takes a few months for some medical marijuana treatments to have their full effect.
- Avoid marijuana treatments when you need your best cognitive function, such as when working or driving.