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Possession and use of medical cannabis is a violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act, and compliance with Maryland State medical cannabis laws is not a legal defense to a violation of federal law. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has the authority to enforce federal cannabis laws, even in states with authorized medical cannabis programs. However, federal budget legislation passed in 2014, subject to reauthorization each year, prohibits the DOJ from interfering with the implementation of State medical cannabis programs. Courts have consistently interpreted this statutory provision to protect “individuals who engaged in conduct permitted by state medical marijuana laws and who fully complied with such laws.” U.S. v. McIntosh, 833 F.3d 1163 (9th Cir. 2016).
Are patients required to pay $50 for an MMCC ID card?
Expiration date extended to 3 years for MMCC ID cards issued after January 1, 2019
Is it lawful for a medical cannabis patient to own or possess a firearm?
No. Federal law bars medical cannabis patients from purchasing or possessing firearms. The Federal Gun Control Act , 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), prohibits any person who is an ‘unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)’ from shipping, transporting, receiving or possessing firearms or ammunition. Marijuana is listed in the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I controlled substance, and there are no exceptions in Federal law for marijuana purportedly used for medicinal purposes, even if such use is sanctioned by State law.
Medical cannabis patient information contained in Maryland’s patient registry is considered confidential, protected health information and held in compliance with federal HIPAA regulations by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. However, the Maryland State Police query individuals who seek to purchase a gun about their status as a medical cannabis patient and bar those who disclose that they are medical cannabis patients from making the transaction. Individuals who provide false information by failing to disclose that they are a medical cannabis patient when purchasing a firearm are in violation of federal statute, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of as much as $250,000.
How do I get a certification?
A patient needs an in-person visit with a registered provider with whom the patient has a “bona fide provider-patient relationship”. If the patient meets the provider’s criteria for treatment with medical cannabis, the provider will issue a certification.
What is a “bona fide provider-patient relationship”?
Maryland law defines this term. Essentially it is a treatment or counseling relationship between a provider and patient in which the provider reviews the patient’s relevant medical records, completes an in-person assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition, creates and maintains medically standardized records, expects to monitor patient program, and takes any medically indicated action to follow up.
What do I do after I get the certification?
The patient may go to any licensed dispensary to pick up medical cannabis.
How long will it take to obtain a certification?
After the provider has examined the patient and the patient’s records, the provider may issue the patient a certification immediately.
For what conditions or diseases can my provider issue a certification?
If the patient has a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes: cachexia, anorexia, wating syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or another chronic medical condition which is severe and for which other treatments have been ineffective.
Where can I obtain medical cannabis?
A Maryland patient can only obtain legal medical cannabis from a Maryland-licensed dispensary.
How much cannabis can I purchase today?
The certification issued by a provider for a patient identifies the amount of dried flower and THC that the patient may purchase in a 30-day period. The limit is calculated as a ROLLING 30-day limit- not by calendar month.
How can I obtain an ID card?
A patient can order an ID card by logging into their account through the MMCC website however, a patient may only order an ID card after their patient application has been approved and they have received certification from a registered provider.
I lost my patient ID card, or it was stolen or damaged.
If your patient ID card is lost, stolen or damaged you must login to your MMCC account and report it. There will be a replacement card cost of $100.
Where can I legally travel with medical cannabis?
A legal patient may travel to any location in the state of Maryland (other than federal government property when in possession of medical cannabis). Possession of cannabis is a violation of federal law and Maryland residents should carefully read the current state statutes regarding the use of medical cannabis and be aware that taking cannabis across State lines is a federal offense. Cannabis is also illegal on federal government property. The State of Maryland laws cannot authorize you to travel to other states, jurisdictions or countries with this medicine in your possession.
How many caregivers can one patient have?
A patient may designate up to two persons as caregivers.
What is the minimum age for a caregiver?
Caregivers must be 21 years old or older.
Can a caregiver be a family member?
Yes, a caregiver may be a family member.
Can patients cultivate their own cannabis? Can a caregiver cultivate cannabis for patients?
No, Maryland law does not allow this.
My child needs medical cannabis. Can he or she get it legally?
Children who meet their provider’s criteria for treatment can become legal patients in Maryland. However, children must have a parent or guardian serve as a caregiver.
Can veterans get medical cannabis?
Veterans can obtain medical cannabis in the same way as other patients, but not from the Veterans Affairs health system. Veterans need to confirm through the office of Veteran Affairs that they are permitted to use medical cannabis as part of their certified provider recommendation without consequence to their current position or health care system.
Is there financial relief for patients who can’t afford medical cannabis?
Providing any financial relief for patients will be a decision made by individual dispensaries.
What if a qualifying patient changes their mailing address?
A patient should notify the Commission within 3 days of address change.
What if I want to obtain medical cannabis from a different dispensary?
A patient may obtain medical cannabis from a dispensary of their choice. The patient’s certification will be recorded in the Commission’s database and can be confirmed by any licensed dispensary.
What happens if I am stopped by law enforcement?
Patients do not have to disclose that they possess medical cannabis and do not have to consent to a search. However, if a search is conducted and medical cannabis is found, the patient should present their patient ID card or direct law enforcement to our database.
Will health insurers cover the cost of medical cannabis?
Health insurers are not required to cover the cost of medical cannabis.
What fees do patients have to pay the Commission to get medical cannabis?
Patients pay $50.00 at time of registration for an ID card.
How do I register as a patient or caregiver?
A patient or caregiver must submit an application on this website.
Are there special reduced fees for seniors?
There are no reduced fees for seniors.
Will Maryland dispensaries recognize other state medical cannabis ID cards?
Not at this time.
Can you provide me with information on replacing opioids with medical cannabis for treatment of chronic pain?
That is a medical question that the Commission cannot answer. You need to discuss this question with your physician.
My employer tests for drug use including cannabis. Can they test me if I am a medical cannabis patient? Can they fire me if I use medical cannabis?
Maryland law does not prevent an employer from testing for use of cannabis (for any reason) or taking action against an employee who tests positive for use of cannabis (for any reason).
Does the provider have to be registered as a certifying provider before the patient visit in order to provide a certification for the patient?
Does the patient need to be registered with MMCC before the provider visit in order to obtain a certification?
When will edibles and/or additional conditions be added to the regulations?
Regulations allowing the processing and sale of edible cannabis products will be finalized on April 19, 2021. There is no plan to add additional conditions at this time