Is cannabis legal in Massachusetts?
Yes, cannabis is legal for both medical and recreational use in Massachusetts. The state legalized medical marijuana in 2012 through a voter-approved ballot initiative.
The Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP) allows qualified patients with debilitating medical conditions to obtain and use cannabis for medical purposes with a doctor’s recommendation. The program is administered by the Cannabis Control Commission.
In 2016, Massachusetts voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 and older; however, there are several benefits to having a medical marijuana card in a recreational cannabis state.
Who qualifies for a medical cannabis card in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, individuals over the age of 18 who meet specific criteria can qualify for a medical marijuana card, also known as a Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP) registration.
To be eligible for a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts, you must be a Massachusetts resident. You need to provide proof of residency, such as a Massachusetts driver’s license or identification card.
To get a medical marijuana card, you must have a debilitating medical condition as outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The list of qualifying conditions includes but is not limited to:
- HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)/AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)
- Hepatitis C
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Additionally, the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program allows for the inclusion of other debilitating conditions that are determined by a qualifying patient’s physician.
Qualifying Pediatric Patients under the age of 18 must be approved by two Massachusetts-licensed certifying physicians, who must diagnose the Patient as having either a debilitating life-limiting illness or condition to get an mmj card.
How do I get a Massachusetts medical marijuana card?
If you meet the aforementioned qualifications to become a medical marijuana patient in Massachusetts, you must receive a written certification from a Massachusetts-licensed healthcare provider who is registered with the MMMP.
Compassionate Clinics of America can provide this certifying healthcare provider.
Once you have met these requirements and received your certification, you can apply for a medical marijuana card through the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Online System (MMJ Online System), for which you will receive a PIN number.
See below for what is required to get a state ID card that allows you to be a part of the state medical marijuana program.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health oversees the registration process and issuance of medical marijuana cards as well as the marijuana program online system.
What are the benefits of having a medical marijuana card?
Being a registered qualifying patient and having a Massachusetts medical marijuana card provides several benefits medical marijuana patients.
Possessing a valid medical cannabis card grants you legal protection under Massachusetts state law to possess and use cannabis within the limits and regulations set forth by the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program (MMMP).
This protection extends to the purchase, cultivation, and transportation medical cannabis.
A marijuana card in Massachusetts also gives you access to dispensaries with expanded product options. These dispensaries offer a variety of cannabis products, including different strains, concentrates, edibles, and topicals.
Medical cannabis patients may have access to a wider range of products than those for recreational use, including higher-potency options, products with specific cannabinoid ratios, and formulations tailored to address certain medical conditions.
The selection for recreational marijuana users is substantially limited in comparison to what is available to those with a medical marijuana card.
According to state law, those with a medical marijuana card are allowed to possess up to a 60-day supply of cannabis, which is significantly higher than the limits for recreational users.
Massachusetts law allows registered medical marijuana patients to grow up to twelve flowering and twelve vegetative cannabis plants in their home for personal use. Adult-use consumers may grow no more than 6 cannabis plants or up to 12 plants for two or more adults.
Medical patients may also apply for a Hardship Cultivation, which allows Registered Qualifying Patients to grow enough marijuana to yield a 60-day supply for personal medical use.
One of the biggest benefits of having a medical marijuana card is the cost savings. Medical cannabis purchases in Massachusetts are subject to lower taxes compared to recreational cannabis.
Medical marijuana is exempt from the state’s 10% retail sales tax and the 6.25% state sales tax. However, there is a 2% optional local tax that some medical cannabis patients may need to pay that some municipalities may choose to apply.
How much does it cost to get a medical cannabis card in Massachusetts?
There is no longer a fee to register for a Program registration card through the Cannabis Control Commission. If your card is lost, stolen, or destroyed, the fee to replace a Program registration card is $10.
The cost to see a medical marijuana doctor to certify you for an mmj card in Massachusetts is $159 for a new patient and $149 for a renewal.
We offer Sezzle payment options to break up the cost into separate, affordable payments.
Do I need a doctor’s referral to get a medical card?
Yes, getting a certification from a medical marijuana doctor is the first step to applying to be part of Massachusetts’ medical marijuana program.
What information and forms are required when a patient applies for a Medical Marijuana ID card?
When you apply for a Massachusetts medical marijuana card with the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC), you will need to provide an official piece of identification (i.e. valid state driver’s license or government-issued ID), proof of Massachusetts residency (i.e. a utility bill), an identification photo (passport-style), and a written document from a certifying healthcare provider that shows you live with one of the qualifying medical conditions.
How long is my ID card valid in Massachusetts?
Your MMMP registration expires annually on the anniversary of your approval date. In other words, it is valid for a period of one (1) year.
When can I renew my ID card?
You may renew your patient certification up to 60 days before it expires. You will need to obtain a new certification from a medical marijuana doctor, which can be provided by Compassionate Clinics of America.
What is required for renewal?
You will need your 4-digit PIN number for your Medical Use of Marijuana Online System (Online System) account to login to renew your marijuana card in Massachusetts.
You will also need to have your online certification from a certifying physician in order to renew. You can register online for your renewal.
If your certification has expired, you can apply to be recertified.
Can I register as a personal caregiver for another medical cannabis patient in Massachusetts?
Yes, you may register to become a caregiver in Massachusetts to a qualifying patient. A personal caregiver assists with a registered qualifying patient’s medical use of marijuana.
An adult caregiver may be responsible for some of the following duties:
- Transporting a Patient to and from a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MTC).
- Obtaining and transporting marijuana from a MTC on behalf of a Patient.
- Cultivating marijuana on behalf of a Patient who has obtained a Hardship Cultivation Registration.
- Preparing marijuana for consumption by a Patient.
- Administering marijuana to a Patient.
Caregivers must be 21 years or over. Medical cannabis patients can register for up to two (2) caregivers to purchase cannabis products on their behalf.
A registered caregiver may possess up to 10 ounces of medical marijuana.
I live in another state, can I apply?
No. Only Registered Qualifying Patients who are residents of Massachusetts or their Caregivers are allowed to purchase medical marijuana.
Can I use medical marijuana anywhere in Massachusetts?
Medical marijuana use is permitted in private residences and private caregiver residences. It can also be consumed in non-public establishments at the discretion of the owner of the property.
The use of medical marijuana is generally not permitted in public places, including public parks, streets, sidewalks, and other areas accessible to the general public.
Engaging in public consumption of cannabis, whether for medical or recreational purposes, is against Massachusetts law.
How long does it take to process my application?
You should receive your official card within 7-14 business days.
Will I be given a temporary card while my application is being processed?
If your application is approved, you’ll be able to print a temporary version of your Program registration card, which allows you to purchase from a retailer for up to 14 days.
The temporary card does not replace the permanent card.
Can a doctor complete a medical marijuana certification via telehealth?
Yes! Those with a qualifying medical condition can meet with a certifying healthcare provider online. We want to ensure that your experience with Compassionate Clinics of America is as comfortable as possible, no matter your health situation, which is why we have moved to providing our services via telehealth.
Can I own a gun and have a medical cannabis card in Massachussets?
The legal implications of having both a medical cannabis card and a gun in Massachusetts remain uncertain. Massachusetts General Law (c. 140, sec. 131(e)) grants licensing authorities the discretion to determine whether an applicant’s possession of a handgun would constitute a state or federal offense when applying for a License To Carry (LTC).
However, the state’s medical marijuana legislation is explicit in stating that individuals meeting the requirements for medical marijuana cards should not be denied any rights or privileges under state law. To date, there have been no published cases addressing this specific issue.
Complications may arise if you are under investigation for a crime and both marijuana and a gun are discovered in your possession. Massachusetts General Laws (c.269, sec 10H) stipulate penalties for “carrying a loaded firearm while under the influence of liquor, marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressants, stimulant, or toxic vapor substances.”
Massachusetts has some of the strictest firearm regulations in the United States, with many gun-related offenses carrying mandatory minimum prison sentences without the possibility of early release. In summary, while there are no explicit laws prohibiting individuals with medical marijuana cards from obtaining gun licenses, the combination of both may pose legal risks, particularly if you are involved in a crime that triggers background checks and investigations.
When does the physician certification expire?
The physician certification expires one year from the date of certification.
I’ve heard I can get a renewal of my medical cannabis certification in Massachusetts for $20. Where can I renew my medical cannabis certification in Massachusetts for $20?
Please be aware that there are no providers that exist that will provide you with your medical cannabis certification renewal for just $20.
The cost to obtain a renewal of your medical cannabis certification from Compassionate Clinics of America is $149.
In the event that you are not approved for your certification, these fees will be wholly returned to you.
Questions About Medical Cannabis Certification in Massachusetts?
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For Frequently Asked Questions specific to the Massachusetts state medical cannabis program, please visit this link: