Initial Access Certification Will Become Available July 1 to Qualifying Patients and Personal Caregivers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 24, 2019

CONTACT: Cedric Sinclair, Director of Communications, 857-268-6454; Maryalice Gill, Press Secretary, 857-292-4891; cnbpress@state.ma.us

Initial Access Certification Will Become Available July 1 to Qualifying Patients and Personal Caregivers

BOSTON—The Cannabis Control Commission (Commission) today announced that Initial Access Certification will become available to qualifying patients and personal caregivers on Monday, July 1. With the help of a clinician, the new process will enable immediate entry to a Medical Marijuana Treatment Center (MTC) – commonly referred to as a Registered Marijuana Dispensary (RMD) – and allow patients to obtain medical-use marijuana prior to being issued an annual registration card.

“Since the Commission assumed oversight of the Medical Use of Marijuana Program six months ago, our focus has been on maintaining continuous, high-quality care for qualifying patients,” Commission Chairman Steven J. Hoffman said. “I am pleased the new Initial Access Certification process will address enduring concerns about administrative wait times while also enhancing patient and caregiver experience.”

Patients and caregivers who utilize Initial Access Certification will be permitted to enter an MTC once they receive a temporary registration document from the Commission. Once registered, Initial Access Certification will allow patients to be dispensed a limited, 14-day supply of medical-use marijuana, which the Commission has determined is 2.5 ounces, for two weeks. The patient’s clinician – who may include a certifying physician, a certifying certified nurse practitioner, or a certifying physician assistant who is registered in the Program – may determine and certify a patient requires a different amount.

Those who receive Initial Access Certification will still need to complete the traditional registration process through the Commission’s Online System in order to be issued an annual patient registration card. The temporary registration will expire either 14 days after issuance or when the recipient is approved for an annual registration card from the Commission.

Patients and caregivers will be limited to one temporary registration during any 365-day period unless otherwise approved by the Commission. Patients and caregivers must remain in compliance with the medical use of marijuana regulations in order to receive an annual registration card.

The Commission has posted information that patients, caregivers, clinicians, and MTCs should know about the Initial Access Certification process at Mass.gov/MedicalMarijuana.

For additional information regarding patient registration, please contact the Commission at MedicalMarijuana@State.MA.US or call (833) 869-6820.

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