Medical marijuana becoming legal in Maryland is a huge step in the alternative healthcare movement. If you are interested in becoming a Maryland medical marijuana patient, you must first determine if you qualify to register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. Qualifying conditions for medical cards in Maryland are specific because not just any ailment will gain you access. If you have been diagnosed with one of the following ailments, you may qualify for a medical marijuana card. Find out more about qualifying conditions for medical cards in Maryland and what it takes to get a card.
What is a Qualifying Condition?
Across the United States, people are seeking access to medical cards that let them purchase marijuana legally. Qualifying conditions for medical cards in Maryland are for Maryland residents with diagnosable ailments from a specific list of conditions. To qualify, certain criteria have to be met, according to MMCC (maryland.gov) or the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. Check out some of the qualifying ailments and what they can mean for your access to a card.
Maryland Medical Marijuana Qualifying Ailments
Read up on some of the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana cards in Maryland.
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome: a condition causing extreme weight loss and muscle wasting, often a symptom of chronic conditions like cancer, renal failure, HIV, and multiple sclerosis
- Anorexia: eating disorder where a person restricts food intake to maintain low body weight for various reasons including the disturbing perception of body weight and image
- Severe or Chronic Pain: chronic pain lasts longer than six months and occurs in addition to the pain of the original health condition. The underlying condition may or may not have healed but has become more the focus of pain than the original painful condition
- Severe Nausea: can include chemotherapy-induced nausea or intractable nausea, a qualifying condition because of its severity
- Seizures or persistent muscle spasms: seizure activity that lasts longer than a few instances and is chronic or debilitating
- Glaucoma: a condition where the eye’s optic nerve is damaged with or without raising intraocular pressure. May result in gradual vision loss
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: signs and symptoms of PTSD include avoidance and numbing of anything related to trauma, aspects of the ordeal, loss of interest in general activities, and feeling detached from people and activities
- A chronic or debilitating medical condition resulting in hospice or palliative care: experiencing pain or conditions from cancer treatment or pain in hospice and end-of-life care
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Card in Maryland (Anxiety and Depression)
Many people wonder if conditions like anxiety and depression qualify for medical marijuana and now marijuana may be able to help. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults each year whereas depression affects 350 million. It is not uncommon for a person suffering from anxiety to also suffer from depression, and vice versa. Using medical marijuana to treat anxiety and depression is a rising trend as cannabis continues to grow in healthcare. Cannabis holds a stigma for making users feel paranoid or anxious, however many patients are turning to marijuana to treat these conditions.
What Is the Difference With Anxiety and Depression?
While anxiety and depression are two different medical conditions, their symptoms, causes, and treatments often overlap. Because of this, many are making the switch to medical marijuana to help treat their symptoms of the two.
Symptoms of Depression:
- Sad mood
- Lack of interest in enjoyable activities
- Increase or decrease in appetite
- Lack of energy
- Feeling guilty
- Trouble concentrating
Symptoms of Anxiety
- Excessive worrying
- Easily fatigued
- Muscle tension
- Sleep disturbances
How Does Medical Marijuana Help with Anxiety and Depression?
The research of using medical marijuana to treat anxiety and depression is still in the early stages, but it is believed that benefits of treating with marijuana include the restoration of endocannabinoids function and mood stabilization. Endocannabinoids, natural producing compounds that influence motor control, emotion, and behavior, are the same genetic make-up compounds found in cannabis. Using medical marijuana may help restore the body to normal endocannabinoid levels, therefore easing the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
If you are experiencing symptoms, it is important to talk to a medical doctor for treatment options. Those who reside in the state of Maryland should consider applying for a Maryland medical marijuana card, as these two ailments qualify. Once you are approved for medical marijuana and have visited a licensed physician, head over to Mary and Main to purchase your medication.
How Do I Register for a Maryland Medical Card?
It’s important to note that before you start the online application, the form must be completed and submitted within the same session; meaning you are unable to start the registration and save it to finish later. By going to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission website, you can start the simple registration process. We suggest having these documents in hand to prepare for the process:
- An accessible email account
- The last four digits of your Social Security Number
- An electronic copy of a valid US driver’s license and proof of Maryland address. Learn more on US government-issued requirements here
- An electronic copy of a clear photograph taken within the last six months.
I Registered for a Maryland Medical Card, Now What?
Upon registering for your Maryland medical card through the MMCC, your application will be reviewed and you will receive a follow-up email stating whether you were approved or declined. If your application has been approved…congrats! You will receive your patient identification number and can now visit a registered physician to obtain a valid written certification. It’s important to remember to visit a provider who is registered with the MMCC, rather than any doctor.
After you have visited with a licensed physician, head over to Mary and Main to complete a new-patient consultation where you can then pick up your medicine.
Access to Medical Marijuana in Maryland
Some medical marijuana patients might claim they have a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are actually illegal. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. Therefore doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana doctors in Maryland will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.
According to Maryland medical marijuana laws, the maximum amount medical marijuana patients are legally allowed to possess is a “30-day supply” — an amount to be determined by the Commission.
Qualified patients in Maryland may choose to see a marijuana doctor online instead of in-person during the COVID-19 Pandemic, using a telemedicine portal, provided that a medical marijuana telemedicine doctor first established a relationship with the patient in-person, after which all follow-up visits may be conducted via medical marijuana telemedicine services, online.
The State of Maryland has a legalized medical marijuana program, which allows patients to receive a medical marijuana recommendation from a certified physician, and apply for a state-issued Maryland Medical Marijuana Card, permitting the patient to purchase marijuana for medicinal use, as per Maryland state guidelines. Physicians who are certifying patients must be registered with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.
Mary and Main aims to help educate consumers on products and services they can access in Maryland.
Contact us to find out how we can help you select the best products for your situation.