The State of Massachusetts passed the Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Initiative in 2012, with 63% approval, with the first medical dispensary opening up in June of 2015. This allowed patients with conditions such as HIV, hepatitis C, glaucoma, and chronic pain to access cannabis products with the recommendation of a doctor and active medical registration from the Department of Public Health (DPH).
Here’s everything you need to know about Medical Use in Massachusetts.
What Does “Medical Use” Mean?
Medical Use is the use of doctor-recommended use of cannabis for specific medical conditions. California was the first state to pass medical cannabis legislation in 1996, and is now legal at the state level in more than 30 states, with varying state-specific stipulations. Massachusetts legalized Medical Use in 2012, and roughly 60,000 active patients use cannabis as medicine in the state.
With an active registration card, cannabis patients are eligible for a 60-day supply (10 ounces) of medical cannabis. Medical cannabis can be obtained at medical marijuana dispensaries, and feature consultations like you’d expect at a pharmacy.
As compared to Adult Use (recreational cannabis), medical patients have a different set of products available, and will get priority over recreational buyers. This often means shorter wait times, exclusive products, and a separate line to pay and check out.
Medical Conditions Treated by Cannabis
In order to obtain registration as a Medical Use patient, you must be a “qualifying patient” by Massachusetts standards. This means patients must have certain qualifying conditions. Though cannabis is used to treat a wide variety of conditions, Massachusetts considers the following conditions to be qualifying conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Severe nausea
- Various debilitating or chronic medical conditions, as determined by your physician
How to Get Approved for Medical Use
To get approved for Medical Use, you must follow a specific process. This includes qualifying for Medical Use, getting certification from your physician, providing documentation, and registering with the State of Massachusetts and the dispensary of your choice.
Here’s an overview of the steps you need to take to get approved for Medical Use:
1. Make sure you qualify
To qualify for Medical Use in Massachusetts, you must be:
- 18 or older
- A Massachusetts resident
- Living with a debilitating condition (some are listed above)
2. Get certified by a Medical Use doctor
Once you’ve determined eligibility with a qualified doctor, you’ll need certification from a licensed Medical Use doctor in good standing with the State of Massachusetts. Once you get the certification, you’ll get a PIN number, which allows you to apply with the Medical Use of Marijuana Online system.
Documentation & registration:
For approval, you’ll need to provide the following materials to the State of Massachusetts:
- Government-issued photo ID
- Proof of Massachusetts residency
- $50 dollars for a fee
- A current photo of yourself
- The PIN number received during certification
Once the state has the documents they need and the transaction has been approved, you’ll be able to register with the State of Massachusetts.
Stay up to date on Medical Use:
Medical Use in Massachusetts has been widespread for several years, but legalities and regulations are likely to change over time. To stay up to date on changes and regulations in Medical Use laws, subscribe to our newsletter today.