How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Massachusetts in 2023
Article written by
Shanti RyleContent Writer
Content reviewed by
Ruth LemonVP of Operations
Table of contents
It is now possible to acquire your medical marijuana card online in Massachusetts, thanks to advancements in telemedicine and regulatory changes in the state’s cannabis laws. With Leafwell, it is quick, simple, and secure to obtain your Massachusetts medical marijuana card online.
We’ve put together this helpful guide to answer all your questions and help those living in Massachusetts State to understand the importance and ease of applying for their Massachusetts MMJ card via Leafwell’s HIPAA-compliant platform.
Personalized Cannabis Guidance
Benefits of Having a Medical Card in Massachusetts
While cannabis is legal for recreational use in Massachusetts, we still recommend you apply for a Massachusetts MMJ card if you’re eligible to become a medical patient. Cardholders enjoy additional legal protection, and while many counties have banned retail cannabis stores, dispensaries for medical marijuana are permitted. Therefore, you must possess an MMJ Card in these counties to purchase marijuana legally.
There are some distinct advantages to having a medical marijuana card, which can apply to many states with a medical marijuana program. Benefits of having a MA state medical cannabis recommendation and identification card include:
- Deliveries: Qualifying patients may have their products delivered to them (adult use allows deliveries, as well).
- Save money on taxes: Qualifying patients can save up to 20% over adult-use customers.
- The ability to pay by cash or card: In many recreational dispensaries, customers can only pay by cash.
- Priority is given to patients with separate lines and they have a broader selection of products.
- Dispensaries are required by state law to set aside 35% of their inventory for medical patients.
Current possession limits also allow medical users to possess greater amounts of cannabis:
- Possession Limit (Flowers): Up to 60 days’ supply may be recommended, which is determined to be around 10 ounces.
- Possession Limit (Concentrates): one gram = 5.3 grams of raw flower. This suggests a maximum of approximately 50 grams of concentrate for medical patients.
For non-medical users:
- One ounce of recreational cannabis outside of the home
- Ten ounces of recreational cannabis inside the house and five grams of concentrates
You must be aged 18 years old or over to get a Massachusetts medical marijuana card for yourself.
Can Minors Get a Medical Card in Massachusetts?
Minors can have a parent or guardian become their caregiver and apply for a medical card on their behalf. To do so, the minor must have certifications from two healthcare providers, of which one must be a pediatrician or pediatric specialist. Caregivers must be aged 21 or over.
Here are the qualifying medical conditions which allow for an MMJ ID Card in Massachusetts:
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease
- Crohn’s Disease
- Hepatitis C
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Any other conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician
During your consultation with a state-licensed physician on the Leafwell telemedicine platform, you will discuss one or more of these medical conditions to help our physician understand whether medical marijuana could help you.
How to Apply
Documents You’ll Need
You must show identification documents to apply for your MMJ Card in Massachusetts. New patients should gather together the following:
- Photo ID, such as a U.S. passport, driver’s license, or state-issued ID card
- Proof of Massachusetts residence, such as a bank statement, utility bill, or state correspondence
- A certificate from Leafwell
Steps to Apply
- Register online with Leafwell and securely upload your data and medical records to our state-of-the-art telemedicine platform.
- Schedule and attend your online appointment and get a medical cannabis certificate renewal online from a state-licensed physician. The process is quick, simple, and HIPAA-compliant. Most meetings take 15 minutes or less. This consultation fee is $149 for an examination.
- Create an account via the Medical Use of Marijuana Program Online System website. Once you’ve been certified by the healthcare provider, you will receive an email with a unique four-digit PIN and instructions to register online and complete the application form.
- Once your application is approved, you’ll receive your new card via mail within 1-2 weeks.
We also offer renewal services for $149. If your MMJ Card is due to expire, get in touch with Leafwell today and book your appointment to obtain your certificate.
What to Expect During Your Leafwell Appointment
Your online medical marijuana evaluation with Leafwell is quick and easy. To get started, we’ll need you to provide us with some preliminary details and offer you the opportunity to upload some medical records (if you have them). These are all passed securely to one of our registered physicians, who can familiarize themselves with your application before your consultation.
The consultation is simple and secure, taking place on our bespoke telemedicine platform. You will meet with a Massachusetts registered practitioner who has experience issuing certificates for medical marijuana to patients for a range of medical issues. The registered practitioner will speak with you about why you are applying and ask some questions about your medical conditions and history.
At the end of the consultation, the registered practitioner can make an informed decision about whether they recommend using medical cannabis based on the medical information they have obtained. If an application is successful, the registered practitioner will complete the certification and register you with the MMMP (Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program) and then promptly email the electronic version of the card in PDF.
If an application is unsuccessful, you will receive an email detailing why our registered practitioner could not provide you with the certificate. You will not be charged for the consultation.
The consultation with one of the Massachusetts Registered Practitioners via Leafwell’s HIPAA-compliant online consultation service is a one-off fee of $149. However, you will only be charged if you qualify for an MMJ Card and our practitioner signs your certificate.
You can submit your application to the Massachusetts state program upon receiving your certificate. There is no state fee in Massachusetts.
Because cannabis is federally illegal, insurance companies will not cover any costs incurred from applying for a medical marijuana card.
Cannabis bought for recreational purposes in many locations must be purchased with cash. Cannabis bought with a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts can be purchased using cash or a card.
Medical Marijuana Reciprocity
Massachusetts does not recognize the validity of medical marijuana cards from other states. We recommend Massachusetts residents check before traveling to find out if the state they’re traveling to will accept their MA medical cannabis card.
Several other states practice reciprocity and will recognize a Massachusetts medical marijuana card. The following states accept or recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards:
- Alaska ^
- Arkansas *
- California ^
- Colorado ^
- Connecticut ^
- Hawaii *
- Illinois ^
- Maryland ^ (as of July 2023)
- Michigan (qualifying state must also have reciprocity with Michigan)
- Missouri ^
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey *
- New Mexico * (recreational cannabis is legal in NM)
- New York ^
- Oklahoma *
- Oregon ^
- Pennsylvania (minors only)
- Puerto Rico
- Rhode Island
- U.S. Virgin Islands *
- Utah (max. 45 days, after which the patient must apply for a Utah MMJ card)
- Vermont ^
- Virginia ^
- Washington ^
- Washington D.C.
States marked with * require visitors to complete a visiting patient application for the duration of their stay.
States marked with ^ have adult use programs but do not accept out-of-state cards.
Applying as a Caregiver
Some patients may be eligible for an MMJ Card but unable to apply for one themselves. For example, should the patient be a minor under 18, or if the patient needs assistance accessing medical cannabis, a caregiver can complete the process on their behalf.
- You can become a caregiver via the Massachusetts government website. As with patients, you must register with the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission’s Medical Use of Marijuana Program to become a qualified caregiver.
- You will need a PIN from the patient you will be assisting with medical marijuana.
- You will also need to upload a passport-style photograph of yourself. You can do this during the photo setup. You will also need proof of address and ID. The application process for a caregiver’s medical marijuana card in Massachusetts is very similar to the patient’s.
Having a caregiver’s MMJ card does not qualify you to use medical cannabis for yourself. Medical marijuana patients may register up to two caregivers on their application form.
Where to Buy Medical Marijuana
Patients can purchase medical marijuana from any licensed Massachusetts dispensary and enjoy benefits such as saving up to 20% on taxes and home delivery.
You can choose to buy from a medical cannabis dispensary with a smaller customer base that’s more focused on serving patients or one that sells recreational and medical marijuana. As cardholders, patients have priority over recreational users and enjoy shorter lines in most shops — some even have dedicated areas specifically for MMJ patients.
MMJ dispensaries also carry higher-potency products reserved for those with medical cards. All dispensaries set aside at least 35% of their product specifically for medical users, so there’s less of a risk that they’ll run out of a specific product.
When seeking medical marijuana, it’s important to talk to dispensary staff and ask plenty of questions. These trained professionals can assist you in identifying the best cannabis products for specific health conditions and address any questions or concerns.
Patients may grow up to six plants for medical purposes. Plants must be kept in an enclosed facility. Recreational users may also grow up to six plants.
Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Laws to Know
At most, 35 state-licensed dispensaries are allowed to operate in Massachusetts.
Marijuana cannot be used in public or on federal land. It is illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana and to have an open container of any marijuana in a vehicle while on the road or in a public place. While driving, any marijuana products should be stored in a closed container in the trunk or a locked glove compartment.
Under Massachusetts’ recreational cannabis laws, adults 21 years or older can possess up to one ounce of marijuana or five grams of concentrate outside their residence and up to 10 ounces of marijuana inside their home. Adults may possess and cultivate up to six marijuana plants per resident, with a maximum of 12 per household.
There is a tax of $3.50 per gram of cannabis if the owner possesses 40 grams or more.
If you’re ready to secure your Massachusetts MMJ card, schedule an appointment with one of Leafwell’s physicians today.
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