How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card In Massachusetts
With recreational use of cannabis just months away from being legal in the greater Boston area, there are still many reasons to apply for a medical cannabis card in the state of Massachusetts. Medical cannabis will not be subject to the 17% state and 3% municipal tax that can be applied to the recreational product. Medical patients can have their cannabis delivered to them, unlike recreational purchases. In the event the recreational marijuana boom causes a drop in supply, the state has mandated that at least 35% of medical grade cannabis must be reserved for medical patients. There will also be a greater variety of cannabis products available for purchase by the medical patient. For example, recreational edibles are only allowed to have 5 mgs of THC, where medical edibles do not have a limit.
The next question you may be asking is “So how do I get my medical marijuana card in Massachusetts?” Depending on where you are in the process, you could be making your first cannabis purchase before you know it.
Here are the five easy steps of applying for a medical marijuana card in the state of Massachusetts.
Step 1: See If You Qualify
To qualify, you must be a Massachusetts resident, 18 years of age or older and suffering from a “debilitating medical condition.” The Humanitarian Medical Use of Marijuana act defines those conditions as:
“Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV,) acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS,) hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) and other conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician.”
“Other conditions” that have been accepted as qualifying for the MA medical marijuana program since it’s inception include (but are not limited to:)
- Hodgkin Lymphoma
- Seizures or muscle spasms
- Severe nausea
- Chronic pain
According to the law, a physician must determine that the benefits of treatment with cannabis must outweigh the potential risks associated with its use.
Step 2: Obtain Certification From a Qualified Physician
Once a medical marijuana doctor determines you’re eligible, they need to certify you with the state’s Medical Use of Marijuana Online system. Some popular medical marijuana doctor groups include Canna Care Docs and Medwell Health among others. You may be certified by:
A MA licensed physician who holds an active full license, has no prescribing restrictions, has a MA Controlled Substances Registration and has at least one established practice in the state
A licensed nurse practitioner with the same qualifications
Once certified, the state will provide you with a PIN number to access the patient portal to complete your application.
Step 3: Gather Necessary Documents
Once you receive your PIN, it’s time to register as a patient. Collect all of the documents required by the state and scan them into your computer. If you don’t have access to a scanner, photos of the documents that are readable will do.
- The PIN provided by the state
- A valid photo ID. This may be an MA driver’s license, state ID, US Passport or US military ID.
- If using a passport or military ID, you’ll need proof of residency. This can be a utility bill, a copy of a lease agreement or current official documents on state letterhead with your address written.
- A photo of yourself. Any headshot will do, provided it is in color, less than six months old and shows your head and shoulders directly facing the camera. You are to be standing in front of a plain white background and not wearing a hat or glasses (religious headwear is acceptable.)
If you require a caregiver to assist you in getting your marijuana, they must also register with the state and will need to provide the same documents.
Step 4: Register as a MA Medical Marijuana Patient
You’re almost there! Simply navigate to the patient registration portal, and begin the application process. The application is pretty intuitive, but if you have any questions at all refer to this easy to understand document provided by the state.
For those who’d rather not apply online, there is another (much slower!) option available. Call (617) 660-5370 to request a hard copy of a registration form. This form can be filled out and returned to the state along with a check for $50 and copies of all pertinent documents. Allow up to 4 weeks for processing.
UPDATED 7/23 – The CCC just started a program called Initial Access that makes it possible for you to visit Revolutionary Clinics immediately after your Canna Doctor Appointment. No more waiting 5 to 8 days for your temporary document to be processed, you now have Instant Access! Please read this article to find out more.
Step 5: Register as a Patient with Revolutionary Clinics
When the program approves you, you’ll be provided with a temporary ID that can be printed directly from your computer. The last step is to choose a reputable dispensary that will provide you with the best medical marijuana in MA. Simply fill out our New Patient Intake Form to become a patient with Revolutionary Clinics.
Now it’s time to visit Revolutionary Clinics to get your medicine. We have the most effective medical cannabis products with the best deals n the Boston area. Our experienced staff can teach you everything you need to know to start your cannabis therapy on the right foot. If you have any questions about registering for your card or becoming a patient with us, contact us anytime. We look forward to serving you!
Can Rhode Island Residents apply too?
At present, we can only serve registered Massachusetts residents, per state law. We’ll update our website and social media pages if/when that changes.
Can you have a New York ID ? I just moved to Massachusetts cant get a Massachusetts ID quite yet . Juts bought a new car have to wait a bit . I have my new address
From the CCC website –
Valid Form of Identification
Valid forms of identification include one of the following:
Massachusetts driver’s license;
Massachusetts ID card (with a photograph of yourself);
U.S. passport and another document that proves your Massachusetts residency; or
U.S. military ID and another document that proves your Massachusetts residency.
Whats the cost associated with obtaining card
Trying to get. Card
Hope you can help
Please visit our become a patient section of the website for resources and a list of clinicians to contact for your medical card.
Rev. Clinics is great! Knowledgeable, friendly staff, dynamite products that really have helped since my liver transplant and now the early onset of osteoporosis in my back. I refuse to touch opiates and this offers me relief!
Inquiring for my wife who has cancer.
Hi there, what is your questions exactly?
I am a registered nurse in ri . Could obtaining a card cause trouble for me with a nursing license?
You should reach out to the Green Nurses Group and ask them – email@example.com
Is it possible to get a medical card if I have a foreign passport, but proof on documents that I live in Mass. My passport is also no longer valid. I’m wondering if I would be able to still get a medical card, or once I renew my passport will I be able to? Or do I have to wait until I’m completely legal?
Hi there. To the best of my knowledge you must have a valid/active ID; which could be a passport, military ID, or drivers license. It cannot be “no longer valid” as you said. Sorry about that.
Will my expired Passport and cable bill work? Andie
As per MA DPH regulations you cannot enter a dispensary without your MMJ card and a 2nd valid (meaning not expired) ID. That can be passport, State ID card, driver’s license, and few others. The best source of this information is on the MA DPH website. Here is one link to check out: https://www.mass.gov/lists/medical-use-of-marijuana-laws-regulations-and-guidance#guidance-for-patients-and-caregivers-
My doctor refuses to give me a medical card and I have arthritis in my neck and left knee. He want me to go to PT instead. The pain is so severe I could vomit. Please tell me where I can get a card in Mass?
Here is a great resource for how to obtain a MMJ card. https://www.compassionforpatients.com/patients#become_a_patient
Can and out of state doctor refer me being a MA resident? I can’t get my card in the state my doctor is in due to being a resident of that state. If so what would be the steps I need to take to do so?
I believe you need to go to a Doctor in the State of Massachusetts. Here is a link to the MA Department of Public Health MMJ program. https://www.mass.gov/how-to/register-as-a-patient-with-the-medical-use-of-marijuana-program
If anyone interested in getting a Massachusetts scientific marijuana card and making purchases at the dispensary then this article is very helpful for that. Thanks for sharing this kind informational article.
Thank you for your comments
I have 2 herniated disks. I had surgery on one, but still suffer from the second disk. I was not able to have both disks addressed without fusion surgery, so I chose to get one disk repaired. Would this be considered for a medical card?
So sorry to hear that you are experiencing those ailments. Here is a link from the MA MMJ program about qualifying conditions. https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/07/rw/physician-guidance-2015-06-09.pdf
Based on what you’ve said here, it sounds like you could qualify, but you should contact a registered Cannabis Doctor and setup an appointment. Here is another resource on how to find a Cannabis Doctor. https://www.compassionforpatients.com/patients#become_a_patient
I am wondering can a person that holds a mass state license, are they allowed to get a medical marijuana card
and still be able to keep there state license. like a cosmetologist
Best thing to do is to contact the Medical Marijuana Program Support Center at (617) 660-5370 or by email at MedicalMarijuana@state.ma.us.
Question. Just did my paperwork with the state for the card. How long does that exactly take. I’m getting so ansy just waiting. Thanks
You should be able to get a quick answer to this by contacting the Medical Marijuana Program Support Center at (617) 660-5370 or by email at MedicalMarijuana@state.ma.us.
I’m on Morphine three times a day, 30 mg each, yet am in severe pain from neuropathy. I also nearly died from cardiac (germ entered my heart from dental visit) illness and am partially paralyzed. Oxy didn’t help, Morphine after ten years still doesn’t eliminate pain and I need help. Suggestions are THC pills, marijuana laced brownies or cookies or combination of both. The pills appeal to me more.
Do I need a special doctor for a prescription or can my neurologist handle it? If I’m unable to sit for hours due to pain, is delivery of pills available through my pharmacy that delivers? I’m in a medical TBI house with amnesia.
Thank you for sharing your story, and glad to hear that you are seeking alternate therapy via cannabis. Based on what you’ve said here, it sounds like you could qualify, so please contact a registered Cannabis Doctor and setup an appointment. This is a great resource on how to find a Cannabis Doctor. https://www.compassionforpatients.com/patients#become_a_patient
Seeing if my mother qualifies for the card as you mentioned is what I also think to be the most crucial step to registering for a medical cannabis registration program. Since she has lung cancer, obtaining a certification from a qualified physician as you said should be easy to do. I do agree that gathering the necessary documents as you pointed out is also a great way for her to get the fastest way to register and for her to obtain her benefits as soon as possible.
Best thing to do is to call a registered Cannabis Doctor. They can definitely help!
Due to severe chronic pain. and many other debilating issues, I have been house bound and do not work. Is seeing one of these registrered Cannabis Dr’s the only way to be approved? I spoke to my Pain Management Dr. and he said I could try alternate methods. I currently have a Morphine Pain pump that delivers pain medication 24/7 but it is not helping. I have had 4 surgeries this year alone alone. But I don’t know how I would get to see the Registered Cannabis Dr
Canna Doctors might do house calls or live video services? You should reach out to a Cannabis Doctor’s and see if any of them provide this service. Here is a resource to find them – https://www.compassionforpatients.com/patients#become_a_patient
I don’t have a valid state ID, but I still live in Boston as a college student. I think I read somewhere that if I show proof of my tuition bill along with my US passport, this qualifies as proof of residency. Is this true?
I’ve asked around one of our dispensaries and have heard that showing some sort of bill that includes where you live in MA plus a passport should be enough. A great resource for this exact info would be to call a canna doctor and here is a great resource to find a long list of them: https://www.compassionforpatients.com/patients#become_a_patient
If you don’t mind, once you get that information, please post a comment back on this thread, it would be greatly appreciated!
Can someone answers this for me please? … so I am 18, I suffer from severe Panic Disorder, anxiety/depression and ptsd. Is there a way I can get a medical card to get CBD patches here in Massachusetts I am a mass resident.
You absolutely can. Here is a great resource for getting your MMJ card: https://www.mass.gov/how-to/register-as-a-patient-with-the-medical-use-of-marijuana-program
I live In Massachusetts how do i get started?
Hi there, I would say do as the article suggests and see if you qualify. “To qualify, you must be a Massachusetts resident, 18 years of age or older and suffering from a ‘debilitating medical condition.'” The list of conditions is listed here: https://www.revolutionaryclinics.org/how-to-get-a-medical-marijuana-card-in-massachusetts/#
As far as I know, my mother qualifies to get medical marijuana because she has chronic pain. Thanks for the reminder that she should get certification from a doctor so that she can get a card. Once we are able to do so, I’ll help her gather for the necessary documents as soon as possible.
I was certified by a doctor, registered with the online system and paid the $50 fee exactly two weeks ago. I am surprised to have heard nothing back yet, other than the initial email confirming that I registered and confirming payment. I had heard from others that it took about a week to get the temporary card emailed to them so I am surprised that I have not received it yet. I have severe nausea from chemotherapy so I was looking forward to having it at my last cycle, which didn’t happen. Is this a typical wait time? I understand the time for the real card to arrive by mail should take more time but I figured the emailed approval would be quicker. Have you heard of others having to wait two weeks or more just for the email with temporary, printable card? I have heard from them regarding missing info, just an email thanking me for registering.
Sorry – my question above has a typo – I have not heard from them regarding any missing info, just an email thanking me for registering.
Very sorry to hear that that is taking so long. My suggestion for you is to contact the doctor that you certified you and ask them to help figure out why you haven’t been emailed your temporary. I’m sure they would be very willing to help. If not, please reach out to us via this number and we’ll try to help – 617-800-0813.
Any suggestions how to get a status update on my MMJ card renewal. Can’t reach a live person on the phone. Not sure if the card was mailed and stolen.
Hi Larry, have you logged into your Virtual Gateway profile to check the status?
Recreational users, even those who only occasionally smoke, vape or use edibles will get benefit from getting a medical cannabis card just as much as the regular user.
i am certified in NYS for medical marijuana, can i shop in Mass dispensery with my NYS card?
Unfortunately MA does not have reciprocity with other states, so out of state certifications are not valid. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Wow, it’s interesting to know that people with insomnia are qualified to get a medical marijuana card as long as they obtain certification from a certified physician. I was diagnosed with insomnia six months ago, and I have been using sleeping pills to get a good night’s sleep. However, the prolonged drowsiness and headaches, which are side effects of the pills, make it hard for me to function all day. Perhaps it would be a good idea to talk to a physician about my desire to seek alternative treatment using medical cannabis. Thanks!
Hi Levi, thanks for sharing your feedback to our blog article! Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions regarding certification. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
Where can I find an application?
Please visit https://www.revolutionaryclinics.org/resources/become-a-patient/ for information on becoming a patient!
I live In a small town near new york how do i get started?
Currently you must be a MA resident with a MA address to register for the MA MMJ program. You can find our brands throughout the state at many fine recreational shops.
Your blog is very informative thank you for sharing this blog.
Thank you for checking out our blog!