FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why do I need certification and registration?
Certification is what our medical practitioner does. It is an online process that confirms you have a qualifying condition to get a medical card. Registration is what you do. It is an online process that tells the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) who you are. Both certification and registration need to be renewed annually. The renewal dates will differ (from a few days to several months). Your medical marijuana card has the same expiration date as your registration. To check your certification expiration date log in to patient.massciportal.com or ask the staff at the dispensary when they scan your card.
NOTE: The CCC will send you email reminders 60 days before your certification expires and 60 days before your registration expires. Sixty days in advance is a good time to renew registration (as the expiration date stays the same). However, 60 days in advance is too soon to renew certification (as it resets the expiration date). Plan to recertify within a week or two of your expiration date.
What happens if my medical card expires?
Your connection to the medical use of marijuana program requires an active certification, an active registration and an active medical marijuana card. If one of them expires--or if all three have expired--it is relatively simple to renew them. Renewing your certification requires a telehealth visit with us to confirm that you still a qualifying condition. Certification becomes ACTIVE at the time of your visit. Renewing your registration can be done simply by logging into your account at patient.massciportal.com , choose "renew registration", then follow the prompts. A one-month temporary will be given and your new card will be mailed to you, arriving in 2-4 weeks. Call us during business hours for registration assistance.
How much does it cost?
Our fee for first-time certification is $220. Our fee for recertification (for patients we have previously seen) is $170. Registration is designed for patients to do themselves, online. If you need help with registration, call us during business hours. We don't charge for registration assistance.
Does health insurance cover any medical marijuana costs?
No. Health insurance currently does not cover the cost of certification or the cost of your medication.
What conditions qualify for medical use of marijuana?
The regulations governing medical marijuana in Massachusetts describe a qualifying condition as one that interferes with activities of daily living (work, family, social, sleep). Certifying providers must also balance risk and benefit to ensure the most favorable patient outcome. For a list of conditions that we have used to certify patients go to: Qualifying Diagnoses
What do I need to provide?
Detailed medical records are not needed. A note from your physician supporting your certification is always welcome. A list of medications and a list of diagnoses are helpful, particularly if you have a complicated medical history. We also need a copy of your driver's license or other photo ID. These can be sent to us at the time of your telehealth visit by emailing to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by faxing to 978-594-5878.
How do I arrange for a caregiver?
If you are registered as a medical marijuana patient, you can choose someone to be your caregiver. A caregiver can go with you when you visit a dispensary. A caregiver can also go to a dispensary on their own to get medication for you. Caregivers must be registered online with the Cannabis Control Commission. You need to log in to your patient.massciportal.com account and choose the option to assign someone as your caregiver. A Massachusetts driver’s license or other appropriate identification of your caregiver will be needed. There is no charge. A two-week temporary caregiver registration is usually provided. The “Caregiver” card is mailed, and arrives in 2-4 weeks.
Do you certify patients under 21 years old?
We have a small number of patients aged 18-20 who are usually accompanied by a parent when they first come to see us. It has made their certification easier. As registered patients, they are old enough to access marijuana through the state-licensed dispensaries and to be in possession of it, but they are too young to purchase or use marijuana under any other circumstances. While we recognize the independence of some under-21's, their “in-between” legal status results in a more cautious approach to their certification. We are not certifying patients under the age of 18.
Is the Massachusetts Card accepted in other states?
Yes, but the list continues to change. You should confirm which states will honor your card prior to travel. Currently, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and Maine will accept Massachusetts cards. Marijuana is sold legally to any adult in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
Can I take medical marijuana with me when I travel?
We strongly advise against taking marijuana across (or close to) any USA border (interstate or international). All borders are under federal jurisdiction and marijuana is an illegal substance under federal law. Even crossing a border between two states in which marijuana is legal can result in federal prosecution. The same caution holds for security areas for air and sea travel, which are generally under federal jurisdiction as well.