Medical marijuana was legalized in Maryland in 2014 when then-Gov. Martin O’Malley signed House Bill 881 into law.
The new law created the framework for establishing the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC), which is responsible for crafting regulations for the legal consumption, cultivation, possession, and distribution of medical cannabis.
Any patient whose physician recommends medical cannabis as a treatment option for a qualifying medical condition is eligible to register with the MMCC.
Patients under 18 years are required to have at least one caregiver (a parent or legal guardian) who is then eligible to purchase and carry medical marijuana on their behalf.
For each 30-day period, qualifying patients may possess up to 4.23 ounces (120 grams) of dried cannabis, at one time; and up to 1.27 ounces (36 grams) of THC cannabis extract. Home cultivation of cannabis plants is not permitted, nor are edible forms of medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana can be recommended for any of the following conditions:
- Cachexia, Anorexia, or Wasting Syndrome
- Chronic Pain
- Conditions resulting in a patient receiving hospice or palliative caregivers
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Severe or persistent muscle spasms
- Other chronic medical conditions that are severe, for which other treatments have been ineffective, and whose symptoms can be expected to be relieved by medical cannabis.
How to Register for Medical Marijuana in Maryland
Patients who meet the criteria to qualify for medical marijuana must take the following steps to legally obtain it:
- Provide proof of residency (out-of-state patient applications not currently accepted).
- Provide a valid copy of a government-issued identification card.
- Complete and submit the online application form on the MMCC Registry website.
- Obtain a valid written certification from a physician registered by the MMCC.
- Visit a licensed Maryland dispensary to purchase medical cannabis.
- Purchase an optional ID card for a $50 fee.
For minor patients under 18 years of age, a caregiver must first register with the MMCC prior to registering the minor patient. Caregivers must be at least 21 years of age and, with respect to minors, be their legal parent or guardian. Caregivers are also required to purchase a Caregiver ID card for a fee of $50.
Registering a minor patient involves additional forms, one of which must be notarized. A full overview of the process for minors can be found here, and for caregivers it can be found here.
It is not possible to apply for medical marijuana registration in Maryland by post.
Certifications from physicians recommending medical marijuana treatment are valid for a maximum of one year.
If nothing is dispensed from a certification within 120 days of issue, the certification expires and you will need to obtain a new certification from your physician.
Where You Can Buy It
Patients and caregivers can only purchase medical marijuana from state-licensed dispensaries. Some dispensaries may deliver medical marijuana to a patient’s home.