Wondering how to get a medical cannabis card in Maryland? And what the benefits are of getting one? Find out here.

How to Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Maryland

In July 2023 Maryland passed landmark legislation to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use. But medical cannabis for patients with a documented need has been legal in Maryland for almost a decade – since 2014. In fact, as of 2022, there were over 162,000 people registered with the state to purchase medical cannabis. 

This blog will explain how to get a medical cannabis card in Maryland and why there are still a number of significant benefits to getting a card even though adults can now buy weed for their own personal use.

 Cannabis being grown in a greenhouse

What are the Benefits of a Medical Cannabis Card in Maryland?

Since it’s now legal to buy cannabis recreationally, you might wonder why it’s still worth bothering to get a medical cannabis card from the state. The truth is there are still a number of advantages:

Lower taxes - Cannabis for recreational use is taxed at a higher rate than medicinal cannabis. The state places a 9% sales and use tax rate on adult-use cannabis, but patients with medical cannabis cards are exempt from this tax for purchases up to the amount certified by their provider.

Lower age restrictions - While cannabis has been legalized for adults over the age of 21, adults between the ages 18 and 20 can only legally purchase cannabis if they have a medical cannabis card from the state.

Broader selection - Medical cannabis patients have access to a wider selection than recreational users, particularly high-potency products such as infused pre-rolls and concentrates such as live resin batters and sugars. These products are specially tailored for – and limited to – medical patients only.

Priority access and shorter waits - Maryland’s cannabis dispensaries were established to serve patients and only recently adapted to serving the general public as well. The new surge in demand can lead to longer lines and reduced availability for certain products. However, dispensaries are still required to serve the needs of their medical customers first, which means some have special check-outs, reserved stocks, and extended hours just for patients with medical cannabis cards.

 Person in gloves and a clean suit creating cannabis concentrates

4 Steps to Getting a Medical Cannabis Card in Maryland

Here’s how to get a medical cannabis card if you live in Maryland.

1. Register As a Patient

For Maryland residents ages 18 and up, you’ll need to register online as a patient with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC). There’s a $25 fee to register, and you’ll need the following:

  • A valid, accessible email account

  • Your 9 digit Social Security Number

  • An electronic copy of a valid, government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license, a passport, or a state-issued ID photo ID card)

  • If you don’t present a Maryland driver’s license or MVA card or if your current address differs from the one on your ID, you’ll also need to present at least two documents issued in the last 90 days proving that you live in Maryland (such as, among others, a vehicle registration card, a utility bill, a bank account statement, or a paystub)

Here’s where you go to register.

People under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian over the age of 21 assigned to their account in order to receive a card.

2. Locate the Provider Registry Online

Next you’ll need to find a provider registered with the MMCC on the state’s online registry.

3. Receive a Certificate from a Medical Professional

Once you’ve chosen a provider and they’ve determined that you have a condition that warrants treatment with medical cannabis (see the list of common conditions below), the provider will need your MMCC-issued Patient ID Number in order to provide you with written certification. Once you’re certified, you can print out a temporary MMCC patient ID card while you await your official card in the mail.

4. Visit a Dispensary

Bring your patient ID card to your local dispensary to make your purchase. You should note that you can only purchase a 30-day supply at one time.

Medical Cannabis Card FAQs

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about getting a medical cannabis card.

What Qualifies for a Medical Card in MD?

Some of the conditions for which medical cannabis is often prescribed include:

  • Cachexia

  • Anorexia

  • Wasting syndrome

  • Severe or chronic pain

  • Severe nausea, seizures

  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms

  • Glaucoma

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

  • Other severe chronic medical conditions for which other treatments have been ineffective

About half of medical cannabis patients in Maryland reported that they use it to treat chronic pain.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Medical Card in Maryland?

Once you’ve registered with the MMCC and received certification from your provider, you’ll receive an email with a temporary ID card that you can print out (sort of like a temporary driver’s license). Your actual medical cannabis card should arrive in the mail in about four weeks.

Can I Go to a Dispensary Without a Card in Maryland?

Yes! It’s now possible to purchase cannabis from most Maryland dispensaries with just a driver’s license (or any government-issued ID), as long as you’re over the age of 21. That’s because Maryland voters approved a ballot referendum in the 2022 general election to legalize the use of cannabis for adults over the age of 21 beginning in July, 2023. This led to the passage of the state’s Cannabis Reform Act, which permitted dispensaries to convert their licenses from medical sales only to incorporate adult-use sales as well – which almost every dispensary in the state has done.

What is the Difference Between Medical and Recreational Cannabis in Maryland?

Medical and recreational cannabis are sold in the same dispensaries and consist of many of the same products (dried flower, edibles, oils, tinctures, etc.). While there are certain strains and high potency products that are only available for medical use, the main difference between medical and recreational cannabis isn’t in the products themselves but in the way you’re able to access them.

With a medical cannabis card you can purchase up to a 30 day supply as specified by your certified provider. For recreational purchases, there is a fixed limit on how much anyone can purchase at once referred to as the “personal use amount”: 42 grams (about 1.5 oz) of dried flower, 12 grams of concentrated cannabis, or a total amount of edible products that does not exceed 750 grams of THC.

 SunMed grower inspecting cannabis plant

Sun Grown Remedies from SunMed

At SunMed Growers, we’ve been dedicated to providing affordable, high quality medical cannabis since our founding. We use state-of-the-art Dutch greenhouses to cultivate a product that’s nurtured and enriched through natural sunlight.

Find a dispensary near you to find out what sets SunMed products apart from all the rest!