How to Become a PatientIn order to become a qualifying patient protected by the new law, you must have a document called a “written certification” signed by a licensed physician. This certification demonstrates that your doctor has diagnosed your debilitating medical condition and that your doctor feels that the medical use of cannabis would likely outweigh any health risks for your specific condition.
Until the DPH sets up the registration card process, your written certification will serve as a registration card. In order to obtain the protections under the law, you must keep a copy of your written certification with you at all times you are in possession of medical cannabis and show that form to a law enforcement officer if he or she asks.
Steps to TakeThe correct steps to become a qualifying patient:
- Obtain your medical records, and have a documented qualifying condition
- Meet with a physician
- Obtain a written certification from your physician (see below)
The Physician’s Written Certification is not a prescription. It is simply a document written by a Massachusetts physician that states that in their professional opinion, you, the patient, have a medical condition in which the benefits of medical cannabis would outweigh the health risks. At this point in Massachusetts, physicians are not able to write prescriptions, but their certification does qualify as proof of patient need, and therefore will allow you to possess cannabis for medical purposes.
Once the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) sets forth the final regulations for MMJ patients it is likely that you will need to submit this Written Certification to the DPH along with a fee in order to receive a registration card. The registration card will allow patients buy medical cannabis.
Until such a time that regulations pass for registration cards, patients with Written Certification may possess no more than a 60-day supply of medical cannabis.