In more than half of the states throughout the U.S., a medical marijuana card will give you legal access to buy, possess, and consume cannabis legally. Because medical cannabis laws vary by state, the process for getting a medical marijuana card can seem confusing. Luckily, with a little guidance and information, obtaining a medical marijuana card is relatively easy provided you meet the requirements set by your state.
The regulations and requirements for getting a medical cannabis card are different in Washington D.C. and the 33 states that have legalized medical marijuana. If you live in one of the states with medical marijuana laws in place, your first step is to make sure that your condition is listed as eligible for access to medical cannabis.
Once you’ve determined that you can qualify for medical marijuana, you can pursue a registration card. In general, states require that you obtain a written recommendation from a licensed physician and show proof that you’re a resident.
Here’s a look at how to get a medical marijuana card, depending on where you live.
If you’re an Alaska resident, to get a Medical Marijuana Registry card, you must complete an application through the Division of Public Health and a signed physician’s statement stating that you’ve been diagnosed with one of the state’s eight qualifying conditions and that they believe cannabis may be beneficial.
Send your application and physician’s statement into Alaska’s Bureau of Vital Statistics with a nonrefundable $25 fee and a legible photocopy of your driver’s license or identification card. You can find where to mail your materials through the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Medical Marijuana Registry website, here.
If you live in Arizona, you can get a medical marijuana card by applying through the state’s Medical Marijuana Online Registry System. Be ready with digital copies of photo identification and a current photograph, a completed and signed physician certification form, and a completed and signed qualifying patient attestation.
Applying for a medical marijuana card costs $150, unless you are eligible for SNAP assistance and then the fee is reduced to $75.
You can find Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Online Registry System here.
Although the Arkansas Department of Health is waiting until one month prior to when dispensaries are expected to open (which is expected to be sometime later this year, although that could change) before it begins issuing medical marijuana registry cards, you can submit your application now.
You’ll need to fill out an application form and provide a digital copy of your physician’s written certification as well as a photocopy of your Arkansas-issued driver’s license or state ID. There’s a nonrefundable $50 fee for each application.
You can find the Arkansas Department of Health Medical Marijuana website here.
If you’re in California, you’ll have an easy time obtaining what you need to legally access medical marijuana. In California, a doctor can recommend medical marijuana for ten conditions and symptoms or “any other chronic or persistent medical symptom.” You can also register with the optional Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program.
Once you obtain your doctor’s recommendation, you can just take it to a dispensary to buy the medical marijuana you want.
You can find the California Department of Public Health Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program website here.
Colorado patients can apply for a medical marijuana card through an online application at Colorado’s Department of Public Health & Environment. You’ll need to provide a copy of your driver’s license or ID card and pay a $15 processing fee.
Although you can grow your own medical marijuana, if you plan to instead buy it, select a dispensary and certify that you’ll only buy cannabis there.
You can find the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Medical Marijuana Registry website here.
In Connecticut, the application for a medical marijuana card has to be initiated by a licensed physician, who will certify that you have one of the state’s many qualifying conditions. Once your doctor submits your information, to obtain your medical marijuana card, you’ll be able to log in and provide the following :
- Proof of identity
- Proof of Connecticut residency
- Passport-size photograph
- $100 registration fee
You can find Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection Medical Marijuana Program website here.
If you’re in Delaware and have a physician’s written certification that you are diagnosed with one of the state’s qualifiable conditions, you can apply for a medical marijuana card with an application available through Delaware’s Division of Public Health. The application calls for a $125 non-refundable fee.
You can find Delaware’s Medical Marijuana Program website here.
To become a qualified medical marijuana patient in Florida, you must first be added to the Medical Marijuana Use Registry by a licensed physician, who will certify that you are diagnosed with one of the state’s nine qualifying conditions. After you register with the program, through an online or hard copy application process, you’ll also need to show that you’re a Florida resident and submit a $75 application fee.
You can find Florida’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use website here.
Hawaii law requires that patients first register with the state’s Medical Cannabis Registry Program. To receive the 329 card needed to enter a dispensary, you’ll need to submit an online application and pay a fee of $38.50. Then, submit your application to your physician, who will certify your condition and submit your application to the Department of Health for processing.
You can find the State of Hawaii Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program website here.
Those in Illinois can get a medical marijuana card by applying online and having a physician submit a written certification confirming their debilitating condition. You can apply for a one-, two-, or three-year registry identification card for $100, $200, or $250, respectively.
Find Illinois’ Medical Cannabis Pilot Program website here.
In Maine, to buy medical marijuana, you’ll need your physician to use the state’s Medical Marijuana Certifications online service to issue a medical marijuana certification. That’s enough to buy cannabis from a dispensary. Maine’s law also establishes the Maine Patient Registry, which is a voluntary registry identification program.
You can find Maine’s Medical Use of Cannabis website here.
Any Maryland resident whose physician recommends medical cannabis as a treatment option can register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. You’ll need to fill out an online application and provide proof of ID and residency. Once your application has been approved, you can visit a doctor who’s registered with the program to provide a certification.
Find the Maryland Marijuana Commission website here.
To get a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts, register with Massachusetts’s Medical Use of Marijuana Online System. You’ll need to first obtain a PIN and a certification from a qualified healthcare provider. The application will request a valid form of ID, a photograph of yourself, and a $50 fee.
You can find Massachusetts’ Medical Use of Cannabis Program website here.
Get a medical marijuana card in Michigan by obtaining a Physician Certification Form signed by your medical professional and registering with the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program. Mail your completed application with a $60 application fee, proof of residency, and your doctor’s certification.
You can find Michigan’s Medical Marihuana Program website here.
In Minnesota, you must receive a certification for medical cannabis from a health care practitioner who has been approved by the state’s program. Once your doctor submits your certification, you’ll receive an email from the Office of Medical Cannabis allowing you to register for medical marijuana with an application and $200 fee.
You can find Minnesota’s Department of Health website here.
To get a valid registry identification card for medical marijuana in Montana, submit an application form with a $5 fee and a physician’s statement certifying that you have one of the state’s 12 qualifying conditions.
You can find the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Marijuana Program website here.
To be a medical cannabis cardholder in Nevada, here’s what you need to do:
- Apply and pay a $25 fee for medical marijuana approval through the Medical Marijuana Program’s Online Registry
- Secure a physician recommendation
- Sign a waiver and acknowledgement in the presence of a Notary Public
Find the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health website here.
In New Hampshire, getting approved for a medical marijuana card requires that you obtain a “Written Certification for the Therapeutic Use of Cannabis” form from your doctor, complete a qualifying patient application, and pay a non-refundable $50 fee.
You can find New Hampshire’s Therapeutic Cannabis Program website, here.
To register for medical marijuana in New Jersey, you need to first be assessed by a physician registered to participate in the state’s program. If they certify that you have an approved debilitating medical condition, they can complete and submit an Attending Physician Statement, which will result in a Patient Reference Number that you can use to complete an online registration process. There is a $200 fee to register.
You can find the State of New Jersey Department of Health Medicinal Cannabis Program website here.
Applying for a medical marijuana card in New Mexico requires a completed application that includes required signatures from both the patient and a certifying practitioner. You’ll also need a copy of a current ID card. There is currently no fee to apply for medical marijuana in New Mexico.
You can find the New Mexico Department of Health Cannabinoids Program website here.
To participate in New York’s medical marijuana program, you need to obtain a certification from a practitioner who is registered with the Department of Health. You can then fill out an application online and pay a $50 application fee to get your registry ID card.
Find the New York State Medical Cannabis Program website here.
Voters in North Dakota approved a medical marijuana initiative in 2016, but the program is not yet operational. Once it is, patients will be able to apply for a medical marijuana card with a recommendation from a licensed physician.
You can find the latest info on the state’s medical marijuana program through the North Dakota Department of Health website, here.
Ohio legalized medical marijuana in 2016 and is mandated to have its program implemented by September 8, 2018. Once it’s up and running, you’ll need to first establish and maintain a “bona fide” relationship with a physician, who will then be able submit a complete patient registration submission so you can apply for medical marijuana.
Find the Ohio Medical Cannabis Control Program website, here.
Applying for a medical marijuana card in Oregon is done through the Oregon Medical Marijuana Online System or a paper application. When you apply, you’ll need to upload proof of Oregon residency and pay a $200 fee.
You can find the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) website here.
Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program is still in the process of being implemented. Once it’s operational, you’ll be able to get a medical marijuana card by getting a recommendation from your doctor saying that medical marijuana is right for you, and then applying to the Department of Health.
You can find the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program website here.
- Submit a written certification form signed by a physician
- Send in proof of residency
- Pay a non-refundable $50 application fee
You can find the website for Rhode Island’s Medical Cannabis program here.
In Vermont, you can obtain a medical marijuana card by filling out an application with the Marijuana Registry. The application must be sent in with a Health Care Professional Verification signed by a licensed physician, a digital photo, and a $50 application fee.
You can find the Vermont Marijuana Registry (VMR) website here.
To be a medical marijuana patient in the state of Washington, you must first get a Medical Marijuana Authorization from a healthcare practitioner. Then, you can join the medical marijuana authorization database to obtain your card.
You can find Washington State’s Medical Marijuana program website here.
You can apply for a medical marijuana registration card in Washington D.C. once you obtain a written recommendation from your primary healthcare practitioner. With the application, you’ll need to upload a photograph and copy of a government-issued photo ID and pay a fee of $100.
You can find the Washington, D.C. Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program website here.
West Virginia only recently legalized medical marijuana, so their program is not yet operational. Eventually, patients who are residents and have obtained a physician’s certification will be able to get a medical marijuana card.
The law calls for the Bureau of Public Health to begin issuing marijuana patient ID cards on July 1, 2019.
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