If you’re new to the world of medical marijuana, first things first: Welcome aboard! You’re one of thousands of Marylanders who trust in the gentle, sustainable, and all-natural healing power of cannabis to treat a wide range of chronic symptoms and conditions.
Like all medical marijuana patients, you’ll need to register with the state to acquire a card issued by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC). Once you’ve successfully registered, it’s time to visit a medical marijuana dispensary.
Maryland is home to several dozen such dispensaries, and if you’re unsure of what to expect there, you can relax: Shopping at them is a lot like visiting a drop-in medical office, with friendly, patient staff who take all the time you need to help get you familiar with this new form of medical care.
So with that in mind, let’s take a moment to get oriented towards what you can expect when shopping at a Maryland medical cannabis dispensary!
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Dispensary Experience: Start with the Card
Before you get ready to visit a dispensary, you’ll first need to get registered with the MMCC. We recommend you visit their website first to make sure you have all necessary documents.
Once you’ve successfully registered, you’ll need one more thing before you can visit a Maryland medical cannabis dispensary: A written certification from a registered medical provider. While the MMCC doesn’t provide a list of registered providers, third-party sites such as this one provide lists of registered providers in Maryland.
After your consultation with one of these approved physicians, he or she will issue a certification using the MMCC-issued Patient ID number you received after successfully registering. And now it’s time to plan your visit!
Shopping at a Maryland Medical Cannabis Dispensary: “Boring” Is Good!
If you’ve felt trepidation about visiting a Maryland medical cannabis dispensary, allow us to put your mind at ease. While you may have grown up with the notion that cannabis was a “gateway drug” or that anyplace that sold it would be dark and disreputable, the reality is that when you shop at a medical marijuana dispensary in Maryland, the experience is much closer to visiting an optician’s or a drop-in medical clinic.
At medical marijuana dispensaries like Remedy in Columbia, the look and feel are clean, well-lit and above all welcoming. The staff are friendly, helpful, and most of all patient with new customers’ questions. Specialized “patient advisors” are on hand to help orient you, and the dispensary offers free virtual consultations for those who are new to the world of medical cannabis. If getting registered for your MMCC card feels challenging, patient advisors will even help you navigate the process!
Do be aware that because of medical marijuana’s federal status, you’ll need to either bring cash or a debit card to use at one of the two on-site ATMs. In addition, you should visit this page for a handy checklist of documents you’ll want to bring.
All in all, the whole experience may feel a little “boring,” and that’s a good thing! While marijuana actually has a long history as a safe and trusted medicine, the cultural stigma attached to it may take a little time to disappear completely. Fortunately, your first visit to a Maryland medical cannabis dispensary should go a long way towards making you feel right at home!