Is the use of Marijuana legal in Maryland?
In 2015, Maryland approved the use of medical cannabis (ie, “medical marijuana”). Recreational use of the drug is still illegal. Only certain medical conditions have been shown to respond favorably to treatment with medical cannabis. In Maryland, only patients who have one or more of the following medical conditions may be eligible for medical cannabis:
- A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care.
- A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes:
- Wasting syndrome
- Severe or chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Severe or persistent muscle spasms.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
How does a patient obtain medical cannabis legally?
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) has outlined all the necessary steps patients must follow to legally obtain and use medical cannabis: Step 1: Register as a patient with MMCC Prior to any medical evaluation, patients must first register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.
Step 2: Obtain written certification from a provider registered with the MCCC
Once registered, patients must obtain a valid written certification from a provider registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. At Access Now Urgent Care, Dr. Arora is actively registered with the MMCC to evaluate and certify patients for medical cannabis. By law, the patient is required to have a bona fide provider-patient relationship with the provider. A “bona fide” relationship means that the physician must:
- Complete an in person assessment of the patient’s condition and medical history
- Review the patient’s medical records
- Create and maintain standardized medical records
- Monitor the patient program and progress on current therapy
- Take any medically indicated action to follow up
In addition, the physician must make a determination that the patient’s condition is severe, and that other medical treatments have been attempted but proven ineffective for the patient’s condition. Lastly the physician have a reasonable expectation that the patient’s symptoms will be relieved by the use of medical cannabis. After the physician determines that a patient is eligible for medical cannabis, he will approve the certification through the Commission’s secure online application. Once issued, a Provider may amend or revoke a patient’s written certification on any medical grounds or if the patient no longer meets the Provider’s inclusion criteria, or the patient now meets the Provider’s exclusion criteria. Examples of exclusion criteria include:
- Failure to follow up with the physician
- Suspicion that the patient is abusing cannabis
- Suspicion that the patient is diverting cannabis to others
Step 3: Visit a licensed Maryland dispensary
After registering with the MMCC and obtaining a valid written certification from a registered provider, patients are able to visit licensed Maryland dispensaries to purchase medical cannabis. If you believe you may be a candidate for treatment with Medical Cannabis, visit our website or call us at 301-200-2230 to set up an evaluation with Dr. Arora.