The Step-By-Step Guide to Medical Marijuana in Massachusetts

Massachusetts law allows qualifying patients to purchase cannabis products from state-licensed medical cannabis dispensaries like Green Harbor. Obtaining your card is the first step to purchasing medical marijuana.

How to Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card


Step One : Get a Doctor’s Recommendation

The state of Massachusetts only grants medical marijuana cards to people with debilitating illnesses. Before you apply for a card, you need to have a doctor examine you and recommend cannabis products for your symptoms.

Any certified physician in good standing with the state board provide this recommendation. While state law specifically mentions serious illnesses like cancer and HIV, it is ultimately up to your doctor whether medical marijuana has appropriate therapeutic effects for your conditions.


Step Two : Apply Online

Once you obtain a doctor’s recommendation, you are ready to apply for your state medical marijuana card. Your health provider will give you a PIN number that you can use to access the state’s Medical Marijuana application system.

Once you log in with your unique PIN number, you will have to provide proof of residence in the state of Massachusetts. In most cases, this can be done with a state-issued ID or US passport. Utility bills, marriage certificates, and insurance policies can also serve as proof of residency.
You will also be asked to upload a photograph of yourself for your card. Your photo needs to meet the same requirements as a driver’s license photo.


Step Three: Pay the Fee

Upon completing your application. You will have to pay a $50 fee to the state to process it. Applicants who qualify for financial assistance may also submit documents attesting to financial hardship and have the fee waived.

At this point, you may also have the choice to appoint a caregiver. Each patient may appoint two caregivers, who may purchase and administer cannabis products on patients’ behalf. If you name any caregivers at this point, they will have to complete a separate application afterwards.


Step Four: Receive Your Card, Make Your First Purchase

The Cannabis Control Commission will process your application and send you a medical marijuana card within 1-2 weeks of the initial submission date. Once you receive this card, you are immediately eligible to walk into Green Harbor’s state-certified medical cannabis dispensary and purchase your first medical marijuana products.

Marijuana Card Renewal

Your medical marijuana card has an expiration date printed clearly on its front side. In most cases, medical marijuana patient cards remain valid for one to three years from the issue date. When you receive your card, make sure to check the expiration date and set a reminder to renew it at least 60 days beforehand.

You will have to log back into the state registration system and renew your card. The renewal process requires a doctor’s certification as well, so be sure to schedule an appoint in time. Your doctor must agree that medical cannabis products still offer valuable therapeutic effects for your condition.

The rest of the renewal process is functionally similar to the initial application process. The state registry system will process your application within 1-2 weeks and send you a new card.