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MD Marijuana Qualification

Updated on May 6, 2020.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

What Ailments Qualify For Medical Cannabis in Maryland

Patients in Maryland diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions, are afforded legal protection under the Maryland Medical Marijuana law, as per the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission:

  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care; or
  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment of a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces
  • Patients diagnosed with severe conditions where other more traditional medical treatments have been ineffective
  • Glaucoma
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

How to Become A Medical Marijuana Patient in Maryland

  1. There is no residency requirement to be eligible for the Maryland Medical marijuana program, you may apply as long as you have a valid US issued photo ID. Any legal Maryland resident can apply and participate in the program and any person from out-of-state who is in Maryland for the purpose of receiving medical care can be issued a written certification and obtain medical cannabis.
  2. Patients must be able to obtain legitimate medical records or health documentation that will aid their diagnosis to be recommended alternative medicine. These health records are extremely important and should be transferred over to the recommending doctor’s office or to a patient’s first-ever medical marijuana evaluation — *Learn how to request your medical records
  3. Patients must obtain a written certification from a doctor or nurse that is licensed to recommend medical marijuana in the State of Maryland by the Podiatrist Medical Examiners, Maryland Board of Nursing, the Maryland Board of Physicians, or the Maryland Board of Dental Examiners. It should also be taken into consideration that patients are highly encouraged to establish a long-standing relationship with the physician conducting any evaluations — *Find a certified medical marijuana physician in Maryland
  4. In order for a patient to become approved into the state’s medical marijuana program, an application for a Maryland medical marijuana card must be filled out and submitted to the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission. You must complete and submit your entire online application in one session. In order to apply, you must have an electronic copy of a valid US federal or state government-issued photo ID and proof of Maryland address or treatment at a Maryland medical facility.

Patients also have the ability to purchase an ID card for $50 from the commission to help keep track of their commission-issued Patient ID number. Though the card is not required to buy medical marijuana products, the Patient ID number is needed for certification.

Note: If a patient does not use their certification to purchase medicinal cannabis products within 120 days of it being issued, the certification becomes void. 

Who Qualifies for Medicinal Marijuana in Maryland

House Bill 881, signed by the Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley in April 14, 2014 — effective June 01, 2014 — tasked the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission, with developing regulations for a patient registry and identification cards, dispensary licensing, settling fees and possession limits.

With effect June 01, 2016, the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission may issue the number of dispensary licenses as necessary to serve the demand of medical marijuana by Maryland patients and caregivers who have been issued identification cards.

Medical Marijuana Access in Maryland

Some medical marijuana patients will claim they have a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are in fact illegal. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. Therefore doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana doctors in Maryland will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.

According to Maryland medical marijuana laws, the maximum amount medical marijuana patients are legally allowed to possess is a “30-day supply” — an amount to be determined by the Commission.

In April 2017, state legislators were considering a bill that would make it easier for patients meeting Maryland medical marijuana qualifications to obtain therapeutic cannabis. The House of Delegates voted 90-45 to expand the number of cultivation licenses and to also make the licensing system more accessible to minorities. The bill was still under consideration by the state Senate as of this writing. If it passes the Senate as well, it is expected it has enough votes to withstand any potential veto by the governor.

The legislation was meant to address the fact that none of Maryland’s 15 cultivation licenses had been awarded to businesses owned by minorities. If approved, the bill could lead to the issuance of five extra licenses. First, however, a study would have to be conducted to determine if minority owners were discriminated against during the original licensing process. However, the companies that were awarded the licenses are against the measure.

In another development, legislation was also being considered to revamp the entire method for licensing cultivation operations in the state. Two companies denied licenses argued they were bumped from the list for firms that ranked lower in the decision-making process.

Counting these latest bills, there have been 15 pieces of legislation filed during the 2016-17 legislative session to either reform the licensing process or reform the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. All of this legislative wrangling is further delaying the implementation of Maryland’s medical marijuana program, which was first approved in 2014. As a result, patients meeting medical marijuana qualifications in Maryland must continue to wait until they can legally obtain this therapeutic medicine.

In December 2017, Peninsula Alternative Health opened its doors to medical marijuana patients in Maryland. Even more dispensaries are expected to open their doors in 2018.

At, we want to be your “go-to” sources for information such as obtaining a Maryland medical marijuana card. Check back with us often and we will keep you updated on developments involving cannabis-related news as they warrant.

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