How to Become a Patient

If you have chronic pain, epilepsy, anxiety, depression, cancer, insomnia, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis or any other conditions that could be determined in writing by a qualifying physician to be debilitating you are likely eligible to participate in the Massachusetts medical marijuana program.  

First Step (Find A Physician)

How do I find a physician who is certified to recommend medical cannabis?

Answer

Patients can receive a certification for the medical use of marijuana from any Massachusetts physician licensed to issue medical cannabis recommendations. There are currently over 200 physicians in Massachusetts able to certify qualifying patients for the medical use of cannabis. You can find our list of physicians their contact information below.

See one of the healthcare providers for a visit. The physician will determine your suitability for the potential benefits of medical cannabis. If you qualify the physician will issue your certification. The physician then sends your information electronically to the Department of Public Health. You will receive an e-mail from DPHOnlineSystem (DPH) <dphonlinesystem@state.ma.us> with a PIN number for you to continue with the next step of the registration process.

The patient registration is also available in paper form. Please contact the Department of Public Health's Medical Use of Marijuana Program Support Line at (617) 660-5370 with any requests for paper forms. Paper forms may take more time for the Department to process but can be easier for some patients without scanners or access to computers to complete.

Second Step (Register with Virtual Gateway)

What is the Virtual Gateway and how do I register? 

Answer

The Medical Use of Marijuana Online System exists within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services’ Virtual Gateway. You must first create your Virtual Gateway account in order to register with the Medical Use of Marijuana Program.

  1. Registering for the First Time: After receiving a physician certification you may register online by visiting the Virtual Gateway to Setup your Account: https://sso.hhs.state.ma.us/VGPortal/faces/SelfReg.jspx
  2. Read through the Terms and Conditions and click “I Accept.”
  3. Select Medical Use of Marijuana System as the Service Name.
  4. Enter your first name, (middle initial is optional), last name, create your own 4 digit pin, birth date (month/day), e-mail address, and complete the security question.
  5. Press Submit. You will then receive an e-mail from Gateway, Virtual (EHS) <virtual.gateway@state.ma.us> titled, "Your Virtual Gateway Account”
  6. Open the e-mail from virtualgateway@state.ma.us titled, "Your Virtual Gateway Account” and click the link inside to complete your Virtual Gateway account setup. (The link expires 7 days from when it is sent)
  7. Review that all of your account information on the page is correct
  8. Create a password: Between 8 and 16 characters. Your password must contain at least one uppercase character, at least one lowercase character, and at least one number. (Passwords cannot contain: the words "test", "password", or "pass", your first name, your last name, or your full name, your virtual gateway username, your email address.)
  9. Choose two of the six secret questions and provide answers. These answers are to help you regain control of your account if you lose or forget your password. (Questions include, “What is your favorite song?, What is your favorite drink? What is your favorite food? What is your favorite animal?”)
  10. Press Submit. Your username will appear on a Congratulations page. You will also receive your username in an e-mail from “Gateway, Virtual (EHS) <virtual.gateway@state.ma.us>” titled “Congratulations on Creating Your Virtual Gateway Account!

Third Step (Register with Medical Marijuana Program)

How do I register my information with the medical marijuana program?

Answer
  1. Log In to the Virtual Gateway with your username and password. Once you’ve logged in, select the Medical Use of Marijuana System and continue. You’ve reached the Medical Use of Marijuana Online Registration System. Click “Register as a Patient” to Continue.
  2. Enter your Identification Information: PIN or Registration Number. (This is the same Patient PIN that was generated when your certifying physician sent your certification to the Department of Public Health. You find your PIN in the e-mail from dphonlinesystem@state.ma.us in Step 1), Last Name, Date of Birth (MM/DD/YYYY), Last 4 Digits of Social Security Number, and Press Proceed.
  3. Read Through the General Instructions and Press Proceed
  4. Complete Registration Information: Enter your mother’s maiden name, choose your gender, you must enter a phone number into the home phone section, and enter your e-mail.
  5. Residential Address: Enter your full residential address
  6. Mailing Address: Enter your full mailing address (Click box if Mailing Address is same as residential address)
  7. Read through and Agree to all Attestations.

Fourth Step (Upload Your Valid Form of Identification)

How do I upload my valid form of identification?

Answer

You must upload a color file of your Massachusetts driver's license, Massachusetts ID card (that has a picture of yourself on it); US Passport; or US Military ID. If you submit a driver's license or Massachusetts ID card as your valid form of identification, the name and address in your application must match the name and address on your ID. If the address on the front of your license is no longer your current address you must write your current address on the back of your license in permanent marker or place a label or sticker with your current address on the back of your license. If uploading a US military ID, scan and upload the front and back of the card.)

  1. Select which Valid Form of Identification you will be uploading
  2. Enter the Number on your Valid Form of Identification
  3. Enter the expiration date on your Valid Form of Identification
  4. Select the file of the your Valid Form of Identification to Upload. Once you’ve chosen the file, click the Upload button.

Once you’ve uploaded your Identification Image(s), you will see “My Uploaded Document” You will see the Date and Timestamp of your Uploaded Image. Under “Actions” you may delete your uploaded image. Once you have uploaded your file successfully you may proceed to the next page.

(Your uploaded file must be in PDF or JPG format and file size must be under 2MB. You may scan your images using a scanner or take pictures using a phone with a clear camera.)

Fifth Step (Registration Payment or Fee Waiver)

How do I pay my registration fee or apply to have the fee waived?

Answer

The Department of Public Health charges a $50 registration fee to complete a new patient registration. This is a fee that is renewed annually. If you have documented verified financial hardship you qualify for a waiver of the $50 registration fee. To apply for a waiver of the registration fee you must submit proof of verified financial hardship. 

Proof of verified financial hardship includes a copy of one of the following: Official Masshealth acceptance letter from the past 12 months, official MassHealth redetermination letter from the past 12 months, MassHealth card issued by MassHealth, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit verification letter for the current year, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ("SNAP") statement from the current year; or Complete State or Federal tax return from this year or last year, including all attatchments (all schedules and forms such as Form W-2, Form 1099, ect.)

  1. To Pay the $50 fee: Click the “Pay Fee” button at the bottom of the page. (During the payment process, do not click the Back, Refresh, or Stop buttons, or close your browser. Doing so may interrupt the process or charge your card multiple times.)
  2. Choose your payment method, Credit Card, Debit Card, or Bank Account Funds Transfer
  3. Enter your card number or account information, expiration dates, and zip code associated with your account.
  4. Enter your e-mail address. Enter again for confirmation.
  5. Press Continue to Review your Payment and Information.
  6. Authorize Payment.
  1. To apply for a registration fee waiver: Check the small white box and then press the proceed button.
  2. Answer the question: “Are you an active MassHealth recipient, currently receiving Supplemental Security Income, or receiving Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program/SNAP (formerly Food Stamp Program);” If you answered Yes, then press the proceed button. (If you answered No, you will be able to proceed and upload your tax return with household income that does not exceed 300% of the federal poverty level for your family size.)
  3. Choose the type of proof you will be submitting.
  4. Choose the file you would like to upload as your documented proof of verified financial hardship. Press the Upload button.

Once you’ve uploaded your verified financial hardship document, you will see “My Uploaded Document” You will see the Date and Timestamp of your Uploaded Image. Under “Actions” you may delete your uploaded image. Press proceed to continue.

Sixth Step (Finalize, Submit, Access Dispensaries )

How do I finalize my registration application and access medical marijuana dispensaries?

Answer

Review and Submit Application: Check that all information you have submitted is correct before submission. Once you’re ready, submit your patient registration application to the Department. The Department will review your application in the order it was received. You will be notified via e-mail from DPHOnlineSystem (DPH) <dphonlinesystem@state.ma.us> whether your application was accepted or denied. If your application is denied, your e-mail message will tell you what the issue is and how you can log back into the Virtual Gateway to fix the information before submitting the application again.

When the Department approves your registration application you may log back in your Virtual Gateway account, select Medical Use of Marijuana System, and print your temporary program ID card by clicking the "Print Temporary Program ID card" link on the homepage. Your temporary program ID card acts as your card until your official card arrives in the mail. You may use your temporary program ID card to enter Registered Marijuana Dispensaries and possess a 60-day supply of medicine at any time.