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Maryland Finally Moving Forward on Access to Medical Cannabis
This week began with a significant move of progress, as the state of Maryland finally opened its patient registry for medical cannabis. Although the state legislature passed a medical cannabis program in 2013, delays and setbacks have postponed the implementation by over four years. Those with last names A through L can now register through the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission's website. Patients with last names M through Z will be able to register starting Monday April 17 at 9 AM. Registration will be open for all patients beginning on April 24th.
Despite the registration process opening this week, medical cannabis is still unavailable in the state of Maryland as the industry is still being developed. While no currently licensed dispensaries have opened, the Commission projects that medical cannabis will be available to patients by the end of this summer.
To apply for the medical patient cannabis program, patients must fill out an application available through the Commission's website. If a patient's application is approved, they must then have an in-person meeting with a licensed physician who is registered with the Commission and who is authorized to recommend medical cannabis and receive a written certification before visiting a dispensary (once open). Patients must also have continuing relationships with their physicians. Patients will need the following information to complete the registration process:
Valid email address
Last four digits of Social Security Number
An electronic copy of a valid US-Government issued photo ID
Proof of a Maryland Address or treatment at a Maryland medical facility
Electronic copy of a clear, recent photograph
Please visit the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission website for a full detailed list of requirements for the application process. Patient ID cards will also be available for a $50 dollar fee. Although patient ID cards are optional and not required for participation in the program, they do provide quick and accessible information about patient status. You do not need to be a Maryland resident to register.
Because patients must receive a written certification from their physician to participate in the program, Americans for Safe Access encourages all patients to share information about the Cannabis Care Certification (CCC) program with their doctors. While the state of Maryland has developed its own rules and regulations for physicians who recommend medical cannabis, the CCC program offers continuing medical education (CME) credits and additional resources to medical professionals so that they can provide the best care for their patients. The CCC program also provides education for patients who are starting or considering cannabis therapeutics as a part of their health care regime.
As more Maryland patients register for the medical cannabis program, it is paramount that doctors and other healthcare professionals can provide their patients the most accurate and comprehensive care.
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