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Becoming a Patient in Maryland
A patient must register on the Commission’s website by providing their name, address, date of birth, and uploading a copy of their state-issued ID card. There is no fee to register with the Commission. Once registered, a patient will need their healthcare provider, who is registered with the Commission, to submit a written certification on the Commission website.
The patient can obtain a written certification from a registered physician who is registered with the Commission, which whom the patient has a bona fide physician-patient relationship. If the patient meets the physician’s criteria for medical use of cannabis, the physician may issue a written certificate. Starting in June 2017, dentists, podiatrists and nurse practitioners are also able to issue written certificates to patients.
The Commission will issue ID cards, which will be optional and cost $50. Patients care request an ID card after they’ve received their written certification.
Both adults and minors may become patients enrolled with the Commission. Patients under 18 years of age must have their parent or legal guardian act as their caregiver, and only their caregiver may obtain and administer their medicine.
Possession, Growing, and Consumption Limitations
Patients and caregivers may only obtain, possess, and administer medical cannabis acquired from a Maryland-licensed dispensary under the law. These dispensaries may only obtain their cannabis from Maryland-licensed growers, and their extracts from Maryland-licensed processors. Patients and caregivers are not allowed to cultivate medical cannabis for the patient.
The General Assembly directed the Commission to determine the amount of medical cannabis that would constitute a 30 day supply. The Commission determined that a qualifying patient may possess nor more than 120 grams of medical cannabis (primarily dried flower) at any one time, unless the patient’s physician determines that more is required. In addition, a patient may not obtain more than 36 grams of THC in a month.
Access to Medical Cannabis
Patients and caregivers may only obtain, possess, and administer medical cannabis acquired from a Maryland-licensed dispensary under the law. These dispensaries may only obtain their cannabis from Maryland-licensed growers, and their extracts from Maryland-licensed processors. The anticipated date for dispensaries to open in Maryland was late 2016, but due to the high volume of Grower, Processor and Dispensary applications received by the Commission, the timeline changed to summer of 2017. It is recommended that you monitor the Commission website for updates.
Caregivers may be appointed by a patient, and cannot care for more than five qualifying patients. Caregivers must be at least 21 years old and may be a family member of the patient. Caregivers will also be required to submit an application through the Commission’s website. A patient may designate up to two persons as caregivers.
If the patient is a minor, their parent or legal guardian must serve as the patient’s caregiver.
The Commission is currently working on posting patient and caregiver registration forms on their website prior to the expected availability of medical cannabis in Maryland-licensed dispensaries. It is recommended that you monitor the Commission website for updates.
Housing/Employment/Child Custody/Organ Transplants Discrimination Protection
Maryland's medical cannabis law does not include civil discrimination protection in the areas of housing, employment, child custody, and organ transplants.
Maryland does not have reciprocity per se, as the law does not recognize medical cannabis ID cards from other states. However, Maryland does not have a residency requirement for patients who wish to register with the Commission. Therefore, non-Maryland residents can register with the Maryland Commission and become legal patients in the state.
Americans for Safe Access strongly urges all patients to keep copies of all paperwork they have related to their status as a medical cannabis patient as proof of legal status, including their patient ID card. This is meant to protect patients from possible future encounters with law enforcement agents.
The Commission database is required to meet HIPAA standards to protect patient confidentiality.