A Massachusetts resident 18 years of age or older who has been diagnosed by a Certifying Healthcare Provider as having a debilitating medical condition may become a Qualifying Patient.
Massachusetts residents under the age of 18 may qualify under limited circumstances. Two Massachusetts-licensed Certifying Healthcare Providers—one of whom is a board-certified pediatrician or board-certified pediatric subspecialist—must diagnose the underage Qualifying Patient as having a debilitating life-limiting illness.
A debilitating life-limiting illness is defined as a condition that does not respond to curative treatments, where reasonable estimates of prognosis suggests death may occur within two years. If the debilitating medical condition is not life-limiting, both physicians must determine that the benefits of the medical use of marijuana outweigh the risks.
Certifying Healthcare Providers must discuss the potential negative impacts on neurological development with the parent or legal guardian of the Qualifying Patient—and the parent or legal guardian must provide written consent.
The Certifying Healthcare Provider must document the rationale to prescribe medical marijuana in both the Qualifying Patient’s medical record and certifying document.