Updated on November 19, 2021. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission requires that patients applying for a medical card have a valid email address, a social security number, and an electronic copy of a government-issued photo ID. The photo identification must be valid (not expired).
The patient will also have to provide two (2) documents that prove they live in Maryland. This can be a utility bill, bank statement, or other municipal or state letter that has the name and address of the individual.
Forms of photo identification accepted by the MMCC include:
All forms of photo identification used for the medical card application must be valid. If the ID cards are expired, they will not be accepted.
The Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates is Adrienne A. Jones. She has formed a bipartisan working group to create a voter referendum on legalizing recreational or adult-use cannabis in the state.
If the working group is successful, residents of Maryland will be able to vote in November 2022 to legalize cannabis in the state. That would mean patients would retain services through the medical card program. And adults over the age of 21 years would be able to purchase cannabis legally.
Taxation for recreational cannabis will be higher than what patients with a medical card will pay in Maryland. In the past, a rate of 30% excise tax was proposed on adult-use cannabis sales. A new tax rate is to be determined for 2022.
In order to apply for a Maryland medical card, a patient must have one or more than one of the qualifying health conditions. This is a list of symptoms and diagnoses that the state has approved for the medical cannabis program.
The current qualifying health conditions in MD are:
Maryland also allows a physician to determine if there is another condition that should be considered. Even if it is not on the list of qualifying health conditions.
The legislation states “or another chronic medical condition which is severe and for which other treatments have been ineffective.” That means a patient who doesn’t have one of the listed health conditions should still consult with a doctor, to find out if they may qualify for a medical card.
Patients with a Maryland medical card have an assortment of cannabis products to choose from at dispensaries. They may purchase whole flower (raw) cannabis or vape cartridges.
Five of the most popular strains of cannabis sold in Maryland are:
Edibles and concentrates are also legal to purchase from a licensed dispensary in Maryland. And patients can also find and explore topical products such as creams to help with pain relief.
You must be eighteen (18) years of age or older to get a medical card in Maryland. Adults 18-20 years do not require the consent of parents or legal guardians to apply for a medical card.
Want to know more about getting your medical card when you are 18? Check out this infographic and guide.
State registration for a medical card in Maryland is a little different. First, patients must set up their online profile with the MMCC. That takes about ten minutes to complete. Only after a patient has created an account with the MMCC can they schedule their marijuana health evaluation.
The next step is to find a physician to complete the health check. Every patient must be seen by a physician to review health history, medications, lifestyle, and other considerations. It is the doctor who determines whether it is safe for the patient to use cannabis for symptom management.
If the doctor approves you for a medical card:
The last step in the application process for a Maryland medical card is to complete your application. Patients are required to log in to the MMCC online portal and provide additional information (proof of residency, etc.). A fee of $50 is also required.
Once these steps are completed, you can download and print your temporary Maryland medical card. This allows you to visit a dispensary and purchase up to thirty (30) days’ supply of medical marijuana. Your permanent card can take up to four weeks to arrive.
IMPORTANT: If you do not use your Maryland medical marijuana card within 120 days of being certified, your card will become void. And you will have to apply again, and complete a new doctor’s evaluation.
Medical marijuana cards issued after January 1, 2019, have a three-year expiration date, from the date of issue. Any medical cards that were issued before January 1, 2019, expire according to the date listed on the card.
For patients who received a Maryland medical card before January 1, 2019, when the card is renewed, it will have a new three-year extended expiration date.
If you wish to become a registered caregiver for a patient who is an adult, and over the age of 18 years, or a minor, you must be over the age of 21 years.
The steps to apply as a caregiver are:
Once the caregiver has received their card, they are able to legally purchase, transport, and administer medical cannabis to the registered patient.
There has been a new change to the Maryland medical marijuana caregiver program. As of April 20, 2021 (4/20/21) patient and caregiver identification cards will no longer show a picture or photograph of either the patient or the caregiver. Medical cards issued previously with a photo, will remain valid, however.
The caregiver must have a government-issued photo ID and their MMCC patient or caregiver identification card to purchase medicinal products at a dispensary.
Renewing your medical card in Maryland is easy! Make sure you observe the expiration date. For some patients who are newly registered, the medical card in Maryland is valid for three years. For other people, the expiration date may be sooner (if they were among the first patients to get a card in the state before renewals were extended to three (3) years.
Simply log into your patient portal with the MMCC. Pay the renewal fee of $50, and a new card will be sent to you. Remember to renew your card at least 45 days before it expires, to avoid problems.
Maryland charges an expensive replacement fee. If you lose your medical card in Maryland, you will have to pay $100 to replace it. If you have a lost or damaged card, you must report it immediately to the MMCC. You can do this by logging into your online account. It can take 4-6 weeks for you to receive your new Maryland medical card. Until your new card arrives, you will be unable to purchase cannabis legally at any dispensary. You must always have both a valid photo ID and your medical card with you to purchase or possess medical marijuana in Maryland.
The MD medical marijuana program is more strict about documents to prove residency than many other states. Patients must provide two types of proof that they live full-time in the state. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) stipulates that the two forms of proof of residency cannot be the same type. Or from the same business, or government agency.
Here is a list of documents that are acceptable as proof of residency by the MMCC:
Any document submitted as proof of living in Maryland and part of the medical card application, must not be older than 90-days. The documents provided must be recent in order to be accepted by the MMCC medical card review.
Medical cannabis was legalized in Maryland when House Bill 881 was passed in 2014. This established the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC).
The full name of the MMCC is the Natalie M. LaPrade Medical Marijuana Commission. It was renamed in June 2014 (Chapters 240 & 256, Acts of 2014). This name was in honor of Delegate Cheryl D. Glenn’s mother, who painfully died of kidney cancer. Natalie LaPrade became an example of the need for compassionate care options for patients in Maryland.
The state of Maryland began decriminalizing and taking steps toward new compassionate care laws back in 2003. Here are some of the historical benchmarks of medical marijuana legalization in Maryland.
May 2003—Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich signed the first legislation and step toward decriminalization of medical marijuana. The new laws did not establish a patient registry program in the state, however.
Source Web 2021: washingtonpost.com
May 2011—SB 308 was passed in the Maryland Senate. This was the first legislation that outlined medical conditions that would qualify for medicinal use of cannabis.
Source Web 2021: mgaleg.maryland.gov
March 2013—HB 702 was also called the Darrell Putman Compassionate Use Act. It was the first legislation that created affirmative defense for medical marijuana use by patients. The law limited legal protections for patients who had less than one ounce of cannabis. It reduced the charge to a $100 fine for possession (with no criminal record).
Source Web 2021: mgaleg.maryland.gov
September 2014—HB 881 was the bill that the Maryland legislature approved that would finally start the legalization process. It permitted the launch of the medical cannabis program, and legal protection for doctors, caregivers, and patients with a medical card.
A thirty-day maximum supply of cannabis products as a limit was established for patients in House Bill 881. And HB 881 is the foundational cannabis legalization set of laws that are amended, whenever there is a change required.
Source Web 2021: legiscan.com
May 2016—HB 104 was passed. This legislation allowed more licensed medical practitioners to provide the written certifications to eligible patients for medical cannabis.
Source Web 2021: mgaleg.maryland.gov
Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission
849 International Drive, 4th Floor
Linthicum, MD 21090
Non-Registry Inquiries: 410-487-8100
Website: Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMMC)
Find out Who Qualifies for Marijuana in Maryland in our definitive guide of Maryland’s qualification guidelines. Read up on medical conditions that are covered under Maryland’s medical marijuana program, age restrictions, criminal conviction restrictions, and more.