Welcome to Cannabis 102
Patient and Caregiver Legal Guidance — Acquire knowledge about Maryland law concerning patient or caregiver status, the application process, and the procurement of medical cannabis from Peake ReLeaf.
Embarking on the journey to becoming a medical cannabis patient or caregiver in Maryland doesn’t need to be difficult! A crucial aspect of this journey is gaining a comprehensive understanding of not just medical cannabis, but also the legalities surrounding its acquisition in the state. This ‘Patient and Caregiver Legal Guidance’ course is designed to guide you through the legal landscape of medical cannabis in Maryland, offering insights into what you can anticipate from Peake ReLeaf in terms of dispensary regulations and procedures. For further details on the finalized regulations concerning medical cannabis in Maryland, please refer to the Division of State Documents website.
Patient Registration: How can I Become a Registered Patient?
Welcome to the process of patient registration for the use of medical cannabis in Maryland. Managed by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC), the process is designed to be convenient and accessible for all eligible residents of the state. You can kick-start your registration on the MMCC’s official website: https://mmcc.maryland.gov/Pages/patients.aspx.
This registration process is available to anyone living in Maryland who has a qualifying medical condition and has been recommended medical cannabis as a treatment option by a healthcare provider. Registering for medical cannabis can be a bit different for adults and minors, but rest assured that both processes can be completed entirely online. Please be aware that the online application form must be filled out and submitted all at once – it doesn’t allow for saving progress to be completed at a later time.
Caregiver Registration: How can I Become a Registered Caregiver?
In Maryland, a caregiver plays a vital role in the medical cannabis ecosystem. A caregiver is someone who has officially registered with the Maryland Cannabis Administration and has obtained a valid MCA Caregiver ID card. Their primary responsibility involves purchasing medical cannabis from a licensed Maryland dispensary on behalf of their assigned patient(s) and ensuring safe transport of the legally acquired cannabis to these patients. As a registered caregiver, an individual can assist up to five registered patients simultaneously.
To qualify as a caregiver, individuals must be at least 21 years old and must complete a registration process with the Maryland Cannabis Administration. They are also required to purchase ID cards from the MCA. This Caregiver ID card is essential and must be presented at the dispensary when buying medical cannabis.
Every registered patient has the right to designate one caregiver. For minor patients, those under the age of 18, there are some additional stipulations. A minor patient must always have at least one caregiver, who is usually a parent or guardian. Furthermore, a minor patient can have up to four caregivers in total. This includes two parents or guardians and two other adults over 21 years of age, who are specifically designated by the parent or guardian.
For potential caregivers wishing to register, the process varies slightly depending on the age of the patient they’ll be assisting. If you’re looking to register as a caregiver for adult patients (18 years and above), you can find the process outlined at the following link: https://mmcc.maryland.gov/Pages/caregivers_regisadult.aspx.
However, if you’re registering to be a caregiver for minor patients (under the age of 18), the process is slightly different and can be found here: https://mmcc.maryland.gov/Pages/caregivers_regisminor.aspx.
Medical Eligibility: What Conditions Qualify for Medical Cannabis in Maryland?
In Maryland, the use of medical cannabis is permitted for various conditions, as determined by the Maryland Cannabis Administration (MCA). A qualifying condition for medical cannabis treatment is generally one that is severe in nature and where other medical interventions have proven ineffective. Moreover, it is expected that the use of medical cannabis would reasonably alleviate the patient’s condition.
Qualifying conditions encompass a wide range of chronic or debilitating diseases or medical circumstances. For example, if a patient is admitted into hospice care or is receiving palliative care, the use of medical cannabis may be deemed appropriate.
Furthermore, medical cannabis can be recommended for treatment of chronic or debilitating diseases that result in symptoms or side effects such as cachexia (a severe weight loss and muscle wasting condition), anorexia, wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, persistent muscle spasms, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and glaucoma. These symptoms may be a direct result of the disease or a side effect of the disease treatment.
The important factor to remember is that the purpose of medical cannabis is to provide relief where other treatments have failed. It’s essential that individuals considering medical cannabis for treatment consult with their healthcare provider to discuss potential benefits and risks.
Please remember to always refer to the most current guidelines and regulations provided by the Maryland Cannabis Administration, as the legal and medical landscape can change over time.
- Maryland Cannabis Administration: [Qualifying Medical Conditions](https://mmcc.maryland.gov/Pages/patients.aspx)
- National Institutes of Health: [Medical Cannabis](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5312634/)
- National Cancer Institute: [Cannabis and Cannabinoids](https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/patient/cannabis-pdq)
Physician Concerns: What if my Doctor is Hesitant to Register with the MMCC?
Under the laws and regulations established in the state of Maryland, doctors are protected.
Beginning in 2009, the U.S. Department of Justice directed federal prosecutors not to prosecute physicians and patients who were complying with state law. In addition, in December 2014, Congress specifically barred the Department of Justice from spending any funds that interfere in the implementation of various states medical cannabis programs, and specifically included Maryland. Finally, in the only ruling by a high-level federal court regarding physicians recommending medical use of cannabis, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed an injunction blocking the government from interfering with the First Amendment rights of doctors and patients to speak to each other about medical cannabis, and for a doctor to recommend medical cannabis to their patient.¹
¹mmcc.maryland.gov. (2017). Laws & Regulations. [online] Available at: http://mmcc.maryland.gov/Pages/law.aspx [Accessed 3 Oct. 2017].
ID Requirements: Is an MMCC Patient ID card Necessary for Purchasing Medical Cannabis?
As a patient, you do not need to carry a patient ID card from the MMCC with you to be considered a patient or to purchase medical cannabis; however, you do need to go through the steps to become a medical cannabis patient (signing up on registry, then getting a written certification) to be considered a patient and obtain medical cannabis.
Accepted IDs: What Forms of Identification are Valid at Peake Releaf?
All registered patients or caregivers must provide a valid government-issued photo ID, such as an unexpired driver’s license, passport, state ID, or military ID. Having your patient ID card with you is not required, but it is recommended.
Am I Permitted to Resell Purchased Cannabis? And Can I Transport my Medical Cannabis Outside of Maryland?
Medical cannabis purchased in Maryland should be used strictly by the individual to whom it’s prescribed. Only entities that possess a valid license can sell cannabis. These licenses are issued to various types of businesses, including dispensaries, growers, processors, approved on-site consumption establishments, and businesses with micro licenses.
The concept of a ‘rolling 30-day cycle’ is crucial to understand. This cycle calculates the allowable purchase quantity based on the certified amount, subtracting the total quantity of all purchases made within the past 30 days. It’s important to note that this cycle does not correspond to a calendar month.
Dried cannabis flower sales are measured by weight in grams. Conversely, processed cannabis products, such as oils, pills, or lotions, are evaluated based on the THC content. Independent laboratories determine the precise THC content in each product.
The patient’s certification presents two distinct limits: one for dried flower and another for THC in processed products. Rather than being separate, these limits operate in tandem. A patient can purchase up to their limit in dried flower OR THC products within a 30-day period – not the total limit of both categories.
For patients purchasing a mix of dried flower and processed products within a 30-day period, their remaining available amount for both categories decreases proportionally to the quantity already purchased.
It’s important to note that these businesses have undergone rigorous application processes to ensure they meet the Maryland Cannabis Administration’s stringent regulatory standards. This process ensures the safety, quality, and legality of the cannabis being sold.
Additionally, taking the purchased cannabis outside of Maryland is against the law. This is due to federal regulations, which classify cannabis as a Schedule I substance, making its transportation across state lines illegal, even if the other state has legalized medical or recreational cannabis use
Home Cultivation Rules: Am I Allowed to Grow my Own Cannabis? Can my Caregiver Cultivate it for me?
Beginning July 1, 2023, the law in Maryland permits adults aged 21 and over to cultivate a maximum of two cannabis plants at home. However, it’s important to note that these plants must be kept away from public view and securely placed so that they can’t be accessed by individuals who are not authorized or are under 21 years old.
Regardless of how many adults reside in a property, only two plants can be grown at any given address. This means that even if there are multiple adults living together, the maximum number of plants permitted remains at two. This is an essential rule to keep in mind to avoid legal complications.
Additionally, growing plants is allowed only on a property that’s owned by the cultivator or when the property owner has given explicit consent. This applies to both homeowners and tenants, meaning that if you rent your home, you must obtain your landlord’s permission before growing any cannabis plants.
Moreover, registered medical patients with the Maryland Cannabis Administration are allowed to grow an additional two plants. That means they can grow up to four cannabis plants in total. Still, the total number of plants in any given residence, regardless of the number of registered medical patients living there, cannot exceed four.
Please be aware that landlords and property owners retain the right to prohibit the cultivation of cannabis on their properties.
Consumption Policies: Can I Consume Cannabis Products at Peake ReLeaf?
We currently ONLY accept cash and debit card payment. Please speak with a staff member for additional details, or give us a call.
Leaf premises is prohibited.
Payment Methods: What are the Available Payment Options?
No, consumption of cannabis on the Peake ReLeaf premises is prohibited.