Do You Need A Medical Card To Buy At A Boston Dispensary?

December 4, 2023

In 2012, Massachusetts joined 17 other states in legalizing the use of medical cannabis. This momentous event overturned a century of restrictions first implemented in 1911. However, the legal landscape surrounding cannabis use and possession continues to evolve nationwide, and understanding your rights as a buyer can become confusing.

Can you buy marijuana at a Boston dispensary if you don’t have a medical card? How do you get a medical marijuana card in the first place, and how does it change the way that you’re allowed to engage with cannabis products? The best way to ensure you abide by the appropriate laws is to stay informed.

Here’s what you need to know about how medical cards work and whether you need a medical card to buy at a dispensary.

How Medical Marijuana Cards Work

Marijuana usage can be broken into two distinct categories: recreational and medical. Recreational cannabis usage is open to anyone (typically above a certain age by law). It can be pursued for many reasons, from enjoying the feeling of a high to easing anxiety or relaxing painful muscles.

Medical marijuana, on the other hand, is used to address specific medical conditions and works as part of a patient’s overall strategy for wellness in collaboration with their doctor. If a doctor finds that a patient benefits from the effects of cannabis, they can provide a recommendation submitted to the Medical Use Marijuana Program.

Following this (and other important steps outlined below), a patient can acquire a medical card granting additional benefits over recreational hobbyists. For instance, medical marijuana cardholders may be allowed to purchase a greater quantity of cannabis or transport it in a manner that is different from recreational users.

They also enjoy increased legal protections tied to the possession of cannabis products as long as they have their card with them, and medical cards can even grant cannabis access to those under the age of 21 in certain circumstances.

colorful close-up of cannabis on desk

Do You Need a Medical Card to Buy in Boston?

In short—no, you do not need to have an approved medical marijuana card to access cannabis products in Boston. However, some dispensaries only serve medical patients, or they may have a subset of stock that is not accessible to recreational users.

Massachusetts legalized recreational cannabis for those over the age of 21 in 2016, so anyone can purchase and enjoy marijuana as long as they follow the proper regulations for acceptable amounts, methods of transportation, and usage in public.

Getting a Medical Marijuana Card

Having a medical cannabis card is not mandatory to enjoy the wide variety of marijuana that Boston dispensaries have to offer, but a card can be beneficial in certain circumstances. If you believe that having a medical marijuana card would be helpful, the process is fairly straightforward.

First, you will need to discuss your concerns with your doctor. Explain that you have experienced an improvement in your symptoms when consuming cannabis and ask if they can write you a recommendation.

Once the recommendation has been submitted to the Medical Use Marijuana Program, the CCC (Cannabis Control Commission) will reach out to proceed with the application process. Most people choose to register online using the PIN number and instructions sent by the CCC, but those who cannot do so can complete a paper application.

The online application asks for some evidence, including a valid government ID. Acceptable options include a driver’s license, passport, or military ID. You will also need to demonstrate that you are a permanent resident of Massachusetts.

If you provided your MA driver’s license in the previous step, you have already fulfilled this requirement. However, those who do not have a license or have one from a different state can use items with their correct mailing address, such as utility bills (less than 60 days old), marriage certificates, mortgage documents, car insurance or registration, or even property tax bills.

Once you have provided all of this information, you’ll need to supply a picture to be included on your card so that you can be identified. Once the form has been completed, expect your medical cannabis card in about two weeks!

Boston recreational marijuana dispensary, with wide variety of products and services for mental health patients

Get High-Quality Cannabis from a Reputable Dispensary

Whether you use cannabis for medical or recreational reasons, be sure to buy your product from a reputable dispensary. The minority-owned Pure Oasis dispensaries are proud to support our local communities by offering comprehensive support to our customers.

From answering dosage questions to making personalized recommendations, we love helping people achieve the best experience with their cannabis. Stop by a Pure Oasis dispensary to explore your medical and recreational cannabis options.

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