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Yes, medical marijuana is legal in Massachusetts. After Massachusetts voters approved Question 3 of the 2012 ballot initiatives on November 6, 2012, medical marijuana became legal in the state. This initiative, codified in Chapter 369 of the Massachusetts General Laws (An Act for the Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana) allows persons diagnosed with specific medical conditions to use cannabis products for medical purposes. The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) is the agency that regulates the state's medical marijuana program.
Obtain a written recommendation for medical cannabis from a registered certifying physician (healthcare provider) via telemedicine or in-person. A qualifying patient who is a minor must be certified by two physicians; one of them must be a pediatric specialist or a pediatrician
After receiving a healthcare provider's certification, apply to the Cannabis Control Commission Commission (CCC) for a Massachusetts marijuana card online or by mail
If applying by mail, follow the instructions on the Patient Registration Form and submit the completed form alongside a valid government-issued ID and a passport-style photo to the CCC
According to Chapter 369 of the Massachusetts General Laws, a person diagnosed with any of the following medical conditions may qualify for medical marijuana treatment:
A person diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition may register with the state's medical marijuana program as a medical marijuana patient. Registered medical marijuana patients and caregivers in Massachusetts can legally purchase cannabis products from registered medical marijuana treatment centers for medical use.
Yes, it is possible to apply for a Massachusetts medical marijuana card online. After obtaining a registered physician's written documentation via telemedicine, a qualifying patient can apply to the Cannabis Control Commission for the Commonwealth's medical marijuana card online through the Medical Use of Marijuana Program Online System.
Patients who qualify for medical cannabis therapy in the Commonwealth can register with the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program online or use the paper registration process. Registering online is more convenient and faster than paper applications. Applicants will need their valid government-issued IDs, photos, and proof of Massachusetts residency while registering for the medical use marijuana program. The CCC provides a guide on how to register with the Massachusetts Use of Marijuana Program.
Yes, only qualifying patients who reside in Massachusetts can apply for the Commeonwealth's medical marijuana cards. They are required to provide proof of Massachusetts residency during their applications.
According to the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC), patients registering with the state's medical marijuana program do not need to pay registration fees. Also, personal and institutional caregivers are not required to pay for registering with the state's medical marijuana program. However, patients are required to pay a non-refundable $10 fee for marijuana registration card replacements if they lose their original cards. Nevertheless, per Title 935, Section 501.005 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR), qualified patients who are recipients of MassHealth or the supplemental security income or whose incomes are below 300% of the federal poverty level may request fee waivers. Medical marijuana registration cards in Massachusetts require renewal after one year. Cardholders are not required to pay when renewing their medical marijuana registration cards.
Licensed medical marijuana treatment centers in Massachusetts usually check the state's medical marijuana registry database to verify buyers' identities before dispensing cannabis products to them. Registered medical marijuana patients and caregivers must provide their registration cards and valid government-issued photo identification when purchasing marijuana products from licensed medical marijuana treatment centers in Massachusetts.
Per the provisions of Chapter 369 of the Massachusetts General Laws, medical marijuana patients in the state must consult with qualified healthcare providers and obtain written certifications for medical marijuana treatment. Medical marijuana patients need such certifications when applying for medical cannabis cards under the Massachusetts medical marijuana program. Qualified healthcare providers only issue certifications for medical marijuana treatment when patients' potential benefits from medical marijuana outweigh possible risks.
The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) does not provide a registry of qualified healthcare providers for medical marijuana treatment certification. However, according to the provisions of Title 935 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR), healthcare providers must register with the state's medical marijuana program before they can certify patients for medical marijuana treatment. The kinds of healthcare providers that can certify patients for medical marijuana in Massachusetts are:
Minors (persons under the age of 18) are allowed to use medical marijuana in Massachusetts. According to Title 935, Section 501.010 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR), a minor must be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition by two qualified healthcare professionals one of whom must be a:
Healthcare professionals must inform minors' parents or legal guardians about the potential risks of medical marijuana on neurological development before recommending medical cannabis treatment for their patients. Also, the parent or guardian of a minor must provide written consent for medical cannabis treatment before their ward can obtain certification from a qualified healthcare professional.
Yes. Upon turning 18, participants in the Massachusetts medical marijuana program who were registered as minors can re-apply as adults. They will not need the permission of their parents or legal guardians nor the approval of their pediatrician, pediatric subspecialist, oncologist, neurologist, or family physician.
Massachusetts medical marijuana registration cards expire after one year and, therefore, require annual renewal. Medical marijuana patients may renew their registration cards 60 days before expiry. Persons renewing their medical marijuana registration cards must visit qualified healthcare providers to obtain new patient certifications for medical marijuana treatment if their previous certifications have expired. Medical marijuana patients may check the status of their patient certifications through their accounts on the Massachusetts medical marijuana program online portal. Alternatively, they may call the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) at 1 (833) 869-6820 to confirm the status of their patient certifications.
Medical marijuana registration cards may be renewed online or by mail. Persons with valid patient certifications or whose patient certifications were renewed by qualified medical providers may log into their accounts on the Massachusetts medical marijuana online portal and apply for card renewals. Medical marijuana registration card renewal applicants in Massachusetts receive their new cards by mail within 7 to 10 days. To renew a medical marijuana registration card by mail, the applicant should download and complete the medical marijuana patient registration renewal form. Following this, they should attach the required documents to the renewal form and send them by mail to the CCC at::
Cannabis Control Commission
Medical Use of Marijuana Program
Worcester Union Station
2 Washington Square
Worcester, MA 01604
According to Title 935 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR), registered medical marijuana patients in the state may grow up to 12 mature and 12 immature cannabis plants at home. Also, per Title 935, Section 501.027 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR), medical marijuana patients may obtain hardship cultivation registration from the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC). Hardship cultivation registration allows registered medical marijuana patients to grow cannabis plants at home to maintain a 60-day supply of medical cannabis (10 ounces of cannabis). This type of registration is reserved for:
Registered medical marijuana patients or caregivers in Massachusetts growing marijuana plants at home are required to lock their cultivation areas to prevent access by unauthorized persons. Also, they must ensure that their cultivation areas cannot be seen from streets or other public spaces.
The following are some of the advantages medical marijuana cardholders in Massachusetts have over recreational cannabis consumers:
According to Title 935, Section 501.002 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulation (CMR), medical marijuana caregivers are individuals or institutions that assist registered medical marijuana patients in administering cannabis products. Caregivers also obtain and transport marijuana products on behalf of registered medical marijuana patients.
There are two types of caregivers under the Massachusetts medical marijuana program: personal caregivers and institutional caregivers. A personal caregiver is an individual, 21 years or older, who helps a registered medical marijuana patient to administer marijuana products or cultivate cannabis plants at home for medical use. If a personal care attendant, home health aide, or visiting nurse serves as a medical marijuana patient's personal caregiver, they cannot cultivate marijuana plants for their patient. Personal medical marijuana caregivers in Massachusetts are allowed to manage a maximum of five patients at once.
Institutional caregivers are employees of long-term care facilities, hospice programs, or hospitals providing care to registered medical marijuana patients within their institutions' facilities. Institutional caregivers are not permitted to cultivate marijuana plants on behalf of their patients. Personal and institutional medical marijuana caregivers are required to register under the Massachusetts medical marijuana program and obtain caregiver registration cards. Caregivers are not automatically assigned to medical marijuana patients under the Massachusetts medical marijuana program. Patients are allowed to designate caregivers by themselves, and they may designate up to two caregivers at once.
Marijuana cards issued in other states are not recognized in Massachusetts, but visitors can possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis. Massachusetts medical marijuana card holders can use their cards in a few states with medical cannabis reciprocity, including Rhode Island, Maine, and Nevada.
Yes, It is unlawful to disclose medical cannabis patients' records in Massachusetts without the patients' authorizations. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), medical marijuana records are expected to be kept private anywhere, including in Massachusetts. However, per HIPAA Privacy Rules, entities covered by HIPAA may disclose patients' medical records to law enforcement agencies and employers if required for legal purposes or public health activities.
Health insurance or worker’s compensation insurance plan does not cover a person’s medical cannabis expenses in Massachusetts.
With a Massachusetts medical marijuana card, a registered cannabis patient can purchase a 60-day cannabis supply, subject to a maximum of 10 ounces, depending on their healthcare provider’s prescription.
Any person purchasing marijuana for medical use in Massachusetts needs their medical marijuana card, otherwise called the medical marijuana authorization card.