December 7, 2020

How to Get a Medical Card in Massachusetts

December 7, 2020
Obtaining a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts isn't difficult.

Obtaining or renewing a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts has never been easier and is made even easier with the state’s online application process. The online application process is fast, easy, and the most efficient way to go about getting your medical marijuana card in Massachusetts. 

In order to apply or reapply for a medical marijuana card, you have to meet certain criteria. The criteria could include anything from filling out a form to updating your patient information, and a few other simple steps.

Registering Online for a Medical Marijuana Card in Massachusetts

Registering online for the Medical Use of Marijuana Program is the fastest and most convenient way to register to obtain a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts. Please note that, in order to register as a patient in the Medical Use of Marijuana Online System (MMJ Online System) you must first be certified by a qualified healthcare provider. If you are unable to register online, a more lengthy paper registration process is available. Please call (833) 869-6820 to request a paper registration form. 

As a patient, you can gain access to your online account at any time by self-registering with the Program’s Virtual Gateway portal

Wait to Receive Your Patient Card in the Mail

Once your registration application is reviewed by the Program, you will be notified by email regarding the status of your registration. Registration applications are reviewed in the order they are received. If approved for registration, you will be able to print a temporary paper Program ID Card and will receive your plastic Program ID Card in the mail within 1 – 2 weeks. 

The temporary paper Program ID Cards expire four weeks from the date that your registration is approved by the Program, at which time you should have received a plastic Program ID Card. If you do not receive your plastic Program ID Card within three weeks, call the Program at (833) 869-6820. 

Preparing for Registration Before registering in the MMJ Online System

You will need to gather the following:  Access to a scanner or a mobile phone or other device capable of uploading documents;  Your PIN, as provided to you by your healthcare provider, and emailed to you by the Program, after you are certified;  valid form of identification (as explained below);  A photograph of yourself (as explained below); and  A form of payment, or proof of verified financial hardship (as explained below). 

Valid Forms of Identification for a Medical Marijuana Card in Massachusetts

Valid forms of identification include one of the following:  Massachusetts driver’s license;  Massachusetts ID card (with a photograph of yourself);  U.S. passport and another document that proves your Massachusetts residency; or  U.S. military ID and another document that proves your Massachusetts residency. 

If you submit a driver’s license or Massachusetts ID card as your valid form of identification, the name and address you submit on your application must match the name and address on your driver’s license or Massachusetts ID card. If it does not match, your application will be returned to you for further clarification. For more information on how to update the name and address on your ID, contact the RMV, or visit their website at www.MassRMV.com. 

If submitting a passport or US military ID, you must also submit a document that proves your primary residence (as outlined below). The name and address on your application must match the name and address on the document that you submit to prove your primary residence. 

Submit one of the following to prove your primary residence: 

  • Utility bill (gas, electric, telephone, cable, or heating oil), that is less than 60 days old and contains your name and address
  • Current Massachusetts motor vehicle registration card with your current address
  • Tuition bill with a due date of less than 6 months ago and addressed to your current address
  • Car insurance policy or bill that is dated less than 60 days old.

You can also submit one of these following:

  • Home mortgage, lease or loan contracts dated within 6 months of today with your name, address and signature
  • Certified U.S. Marriage Certificate dated within the past 6 months
  • Property tax or excise tax bill for the current year with your name and address
  • First-class mail dated less than 60 days old from any federal or state agency that displays your name and address
  • A current Massachusetts-issued Professional License with your address.

Photograph of Yourself 

This photo will be placed on your Program ID Card. If you are using a Massachusetts driver’s license or a Massachusetts photo ID card, you may be able to use your RMV photo during the online registration process. If the Medical Use of Marijuana Online System is able to retrieve your RMV photo, you do not have to upload a separate photo of yourself. 

If you are not submitting a Massachusetts-issued driver’s license or ID as your valid form of ID or the Medical Use of Marijuana Online System is unable to retrieve your RMV photo, then you must upload a photo of yourself. 

Your photo must be: 

  • In color
  • square photo in portrait/upright format
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken within the last 6 months to reflect what you look like now
  • Showing only your head and the top of your shoulders (see example below);  Taken looking directly at the camera held at eye level
  • Taken with both eyes open, and without eyewear; and taken without any item that covers your face or head, except for religious purposes. 

A passport photo meets these requirements and can be obtained at any location that issues passport photos, such as a pharmacy, the post office, or a camera store. Alternatively, you may upload a photo from a cell phone camera if the photo meets the requirements outlined above. 

Payment

There is a $50 fee to complete a patient registration. Acceptable forms of payment include:  credit card;  debit card; or  electronic funds transfer (by providing a bank account number and bank routing number). Payments that are not an acceptable form of payment are Visa gift cards. 

Proof of Verified Financial Hardship 

If you have a verified financial hardship, you may be qualified for a waiver of the $50 registration fee. You are considered to have a verified financial hardship if you are a recipient of MassHealth or Supplemental Security Income, or your household income does not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level for your family size. To apply for a waiver of the registration fee, you must submit proof of verified financial hardship. 

Proof of verified financial hardship includes a copy of one of the following:  Official MassHealth acceptance letter for the current year, or an official MassHealth redetermination letter for the current year, or an official MassHealth card. This could include a  Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit verification letter for the current year.

A Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”) statement from the current year is also accepted. You can also show a Complete State or Federal tax return from this year or last year, including all attachments (all schedules and forms such as Form W-2, Form 1099, etc.). 

Registration Process for a Medical Card in Massachusetts

The Medical Use of Marijuana Online System is housed within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services Virtual Gateway (“VG”). You will first need to register with the VG and then with the MMJ Online System. You will be sent an email from VG during the registration process. 

We recommend keeping your email account open during the registration process so you can easily access this email. This email will contain a link that you will click on in order to finish the VG registration process. The link may expire as soon as seven (7) days after being emailed to you and is only valid the first time that you click on it.

Be sure to keep your VG username and password. You will need your original username when you renew your registration for your medical marijuana card in Massachusetts.   

Registration Renewals for a Medical Card in Massachusetts 

Registrations expire annually. You may re-apply for registration, on an annual basis, up to 60 days before the date that your registration expires by following the instructions outlined above. It is highly recommended that applicants apply for a registration renewal at least 60 days prior to the expiration of their current Program ID card. This will ensure that there is no gap in the applicant’s active status. 

Selecting a Personal Caregiver 

You have the option of designating a personal caregiver to assist you with your medical use of marijuana. After your registration has been approved by the Program, you may log back into the MMJ Online System and designate up to two personal caregivers who are not currently designated by another patient, unless that personal caregiver is your immediate family member. 

To select a personal caregiver, please follow these steps: Log in to VG at https://SSO.HHS.State.MA.US and select “Medical Use of Marijuana System.”  Next you’ll want to click on “My Caregivers” at the top of the screen. Then on the next screen click on the “Generate PIN” button to generate a PIN for your personal caregiver. 

On that screen you will be given the option to print the PIN or enter your personal caregiver’s email address where you would like the PIN emailed. Then you’ll want to provide the PIN to your personal caregiver and direct them to register with the Medical Use of Marijuana Program at https://SSO.HHS.State.MA.US/VGPortal/Faces/SelfReg.Jspx. 

After your personal caregiver has registered with the Program, you will be sent an email notice confirming their registration. You’ll then log back into the Medical Use of Marijuana Online System, and click on “My Caregivers” at the top of the screen, and verify that the individual displayed is your personal caregiver. If yes, select “Yes, I validate that this is my Personal Caregiver,” and indicate whether your personal caregiver is an immediate family member, or not. Then click on “Approve.” 

You will then be taken to a screen that indicates that your personal caregiver’s registration is pending approval by the Program. After their registration is processed, an email will be sent to your personal caregiver regarding the status of their registration.

Congratulations on Completing Your Patient Registration!

That’s it! Soon you will have a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts! You did it and now you can enjoy the thing that has taken so long to get! It’s like putting new brake pads on your car and using them and being like, “woah yeah that should’ve been done a long time ago!”. So, what are you waiting for? Go to a Massachusetts dispensary and pick out your favorite strand!

Additional Resources:

At The Weed Blog we strive to produce the latest online news resources regarding marijuana. We also review various strains of cannabis and their edible counterparts. We are committed to helping you find valuable information about marijuana on our website. With marijuana laws constantly changing, learn from us what you can do to promote activism in your area. Otherwise, consider these other top-tier articles regarding cannabis:

Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions In Missouri

How Does Marijuana Affect Blood Pressure?

How To Make Marijuana Butter / Cannabutter

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