Four years after medical marijuana was approved for medical use in Maryland, the herb is widely available across the state. Supporters had been looking forward to this moment after California became the first state to approve medical marijuana, which happened more than two decades ago.
The reason why medical marijuana has gained so much support in recent years is due to the scientific evidence acquired proving its efficacy. There are so many conditions in which marijuana has proven to be superior in its benefits to other treatment regimens, and today, everyone wants to jump in.
The Legalization Of Medical Marijuana In Maryland
Following its legalization, the people of Maryland were quick to embrace the changes. Since the first dispensary opened in Maryland in December 2017, the industry has grown at a significant rate. In a matter of one year, there were more than 70 shops serving more than 60,000 patients across the state. The industry is booming at a rapid rate, and the growth potential is even more amazing.
While marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in many other states and countries, its use in Maryland remains restricted for just medical use. However, everyone is waiting for the next step to be taken, and many believe it’s only a matter of time until Maryland legalizes for recreational use as well.
How To Get Medical Marijuana In Maryland
The legalization of medical marijuana has everyone buzzing, but not everyone can reap its benefits just yet. To access medical marijuana products, you’ll have to go through the following steps:
First, you’ll have to be medically eligible to possess and use medical marijuana. The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) determines the eligibility of the applicants by evaluating them for any of the following conditions:
Advanced chronic diseases and medical conditions whose patients are receiving palliative care.
Patients suffering from anorexia, cachexia, wasting syndrome, chronic and severe pain, epilepsy, severe nausea, or recurrent muscle spasms due to chronic disease.
Patients suffering from severe conditions that fail to respond to other kinds of treatments.
Patients suffering from glaucoma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Acquiring Your Medical Card
If you’re eligible for medical marijuana, you’ll have to register online with the MMCC and receive a recommendation from a certified doctor. Even Non-Maryland residents who are receving treatment in Maryland are eligible to register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. You’ll submit certain documents along with your application, such as an official ID (driver’s license, passport, or military ID), address proof (such as electric bills), the last 4 numbers of your social security number, and a recent photo.
After submitting your application and being approved, a registered MMCC provider will issue a certification to give you the authority on buying medical marijuana. If you fail to buy any medical marijuana within 120 days of getting your written certification, it becomes void.
You’ll need to seek physicians who are registered with the MMCC to get marijuana prescriptions, but this can limit your options in choosing physicians. Despite the rising growth of marijuana dispensaries around the state, there’s still a shortage of registered physicians to write the prescriptions. This comes as no surprise, as physicians didn’t really have any medical training when it comes to marijuana and its medical uses. With more than 80,000 patients, a number which is increasing rapidly, and a limited number of 1,200 registered providers, the gap is growing.
Where To Get Medical Marijuana
If there’s one thing that’s continuing to grow strongly, it’s the number of dispensaries and marijuana-selling outlets all over the state. To access medical Marijuana in Maryland, you can search through the list of available dispensaries and smoke shops and pick your favorite supplier. However, the best way is to visit a medical dispensary in person. That way you can ensure the quality of the weed you’re buying.
There are quite a few frequently asked questions about using medical marijuana, and here are some of them:
How to pay for it?
So far, dispensaries will only accept cash payments. As far as federal laws go, marijuana is still illegal to use – even if for medical purposes. As such, banks will refuse to perform any operations when it comes to buying or selling marijuana.
Does insurance cover medical marijuana costs?
No, not typically. Health insurance companies aren’t required to cover the costs of medical marijuana. You’ll have to check with your insurance provider to negotiate your options.
Are there different kinds of marijuana?
There are different strains of marijuana, and this makes a difference between the various effects of marijuana you can get. Make sure to ask the specialists at the dispensary about your questions, concerns, and any confusion you have before you buy any products.
In what forms is marijuana available?
Marijuana can be administered in many forms. You smoke the dried flowers, buy pre-rolled joints, vape it using oil or concentrates, or even eat it in the form of edibles. Though legally a gray area at best, edibles are available in many shops and dispensaries.
Are marijuana, hemp, and CBD the same?
No, they’re not the same. Though all three are Genus Cannabis, there’s a difference between the three products. While all three are known for their medical benefits, marijuana is the only product that will get you high. Hemp is non-psychoactive and is mainly used for industrial purposes, CBD production, and hemp oil (from pressed seed) is rich in omega fatty acids. CBD oil is derived from marijuana and hemp flowers, and it can be legally sold on its own (when under .3% THC content and derived from Hemp) to provide its own potential medical benefits.
Where can you take your medicine?
You can only smoke, vape, or eat marijuana in the comfort of your house. It’s still illegal to use it in public spaces.
Once Congress legalizes marijuana for medical purposes, everyone in Maryland may have easier access. Until then, there are still many restrictions regarding its use imposed at the state level. You have to be medically eligible to start reaping its benefits, and you won’t be able to buy any without a medical card authorizing your purchases.