How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Massachusetts: The Step-by-Step Guide

Getting a medical marijuana card is relatively easy! If interested in getting your Massachusetts medical marijuana card to make purchases at our dispensary, please read the below. As always, please feel free to contact us at any stage in the process.

There are four major steps to receiving your medical marijuana card from the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program. This article outlines and provides resources to help you get your card as fast as possible.


Step 1:  Determine Eligibility for Medical Marijuana Card

The first step is easy: if you reside in Massachusetts and have a qualifying medical condition, you are eligible to apply for your medical marijuana card!  Please see below for the Massachusetts accepted proof of residency and qualifying medical conditions.

Accepted proofs of residency in MA

There are a total of 9 ways to prove that you are a resident of Massachusetts when applying for your medical marijuana card. All of the following are accepted:


  1. Utility Bill (less than 60 days old)
  2. Current MA Motor Vehicle Registration
  3. Tuition Bill (less than 60 days old)
  4. U.S. Marriage Certificate (dated within past 6 months)
  5. Property Tax or Excise Tax Bill
  6. First Class Mail from Federal or State Agency (less than 60 days old)
  7. Car Insurance Policy or Bill (less than 60 days old)
  8. Current MA-issued Professional License
  9. Mortgage, Lease, or Loan (dated within past 6 months)

Qualifying Conditions

In order to receive your medical marijuana card, you must suffer from a qualifying medical condition as determined by the Commonwealth. All of the following are accepted:

Qualifying medical conditions: Cancer, Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, or other debilitating conditions as determined in writing by a patient’s certified physician.

Step 2:  Receive a Doctor’s Recommendation for Medical Marijuana

The second step is to receive a recommendation from a certified physician. When having a conversation with your doctor about medical marijuana, honesty is important. Be clear about your current health situation and circumstances, and explain why you believe medical marijuana will be a beneficial treatment for you.

If your doctor agrees that medical marijuana could be a solution for your qualifying condition, your doctor will give you a written recommendation to receive your medical marijuana card.

Next, the doctor will submit an electronic patient certification to the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program.

Doctors who have not yet signed up with the program can do so by following these instructions. Note: If your doctor is unwilling to give you a medical marijuana recommendation, please contact us for further assistance.

Find a Doctor Now

Please click the link below to access a list of local doctors to help you get the right treatment with medical marijuana

Are You a Doctor?

Click below and follow the Program instructions so you can qualify patients for medical marijuana.

Step 3:  Patient Application for Medical Marijuana Card

After your recommending physician grants your certification, you will receive an email containing a unique 4-digit PIN number and instructions for completing your online patient application. The process for registering online includes two parts:

Part 1: Mass.Gov Virtual Gateway In the Virtual Gateway, you’ll be asked to create an account and scan your photo ID. After doing this, you will receive a confirmation email which allows you to set up your patient account. To start the process on the MA Virtual Gateway, click here!

Part 2: Medical Use of Marijuana Online System  After completing Part 1 and registering with the Virtual Gateway, you will receive an email linking to the MMJ Online System. Here, please follow the requested instructions:

1. Upload your photo ID and your current Passport-style photo. These photos will be used on your new MMJ Card. If your current photo is in the Massachusetts RMV database, you will be able to use and upload it through their online portal. If uploading your own photo, click “Browse” > “Select File” > “Proceed” and complete the upload.

2. Pay the $50 application fee or submit proof of low-income status to request a waiver.

3. Review your application to ensure all of the information is correct.

4. Submit your application and wait for approval. If you need more information, click here for a step-by-step guide created by the Commonwealth itself. Please note that a paper application option is available for patients who cannot use the online system. You may obtain a paper application by calling (617) 660-5370. Be advised that paper applications typically have a longer processing time than those submitted electronically.

Valid Forms of ID

  1. Massachusetts driver’s license
  2. Massachusetts ID card (with a photograph of yourself)
  3. U.S. passport and another document that proves your Massachusetts residency;
  4. U.S. military ID and another document that proves your Massachusetts residency.

Prefer Paper Application?

If you cannot access the online system, do not fret. Please call (617)-660-5370 to get access to a paper application.  Note – most paper applications take longer to process than those created electronically.

Step 4:  Receive Medical Marijuana Card!

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’re on your way to getting the treatment you deserve, and NEA has you covered. If you’ve been approved, you will first receive a printable temporary version of your Massachusetts medical marijuana card. This temporary card will enable you to begin shopping at dispensaries such as NEA! You will receive your official card when it is ready. Be sure to keep your card handy, because as soon as you receive it, you can continue making medical marijuana purchases. Please do feel free to visit one of NEA’s convenient locations during business hours and we would love to show you around our dispensary. You may also save time during your first visit by clicking here to pre-register.

Additional Resources

At NEA, we want to improve the lives of as many patients as possible. We love helping you get the treatment you deserve and we are experts at the process. Please feel free to submit the form below or visit our Contact Us page. We are excited to hear from you. Here are some final resources to help you navigate the process:

Complete Online Application Instructions

Patient Application Process Overview

Instructions for Physicians in Massachusetts

Masschusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program Website

Have Any Questions?

We love hearing from new patients and are experts at navigating the process of getting you approved for the medical marijuana program in Massachusetts! Feel free to Contact Us or submit an inquiry below!

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