If you are lucky enough to live in one of the 33 states in the US that has legalized medical marijuana and you want to start taking advantage of the many benefits of medical marijuana, you are going to have to jump through some hoops to get your medical marijuana card. How many hoops and how difficult the process will be depends heavily on which state you live in. There are some commonalities in all states and things you can do to make the process a little bit less painful for yourself or a family member.
Gather Your Documents
The procedure involved towards obtaining your medical marijuana card is a bureaucratic procedure and like all bureaucracy, involves paperwork, a ton of paperwork, but worth it for medical marijuana health benefits. Some of the essentials you will need are a state issued ID.
So if you are not someone who has a driver’s license, which is the most common state issued identification, get to work on obtaining a simple state ID. Most IDs can only be acquired at your local Department of Motor Vehicles and due to many of these offices operating with limited hours or by appointment only at this time, plan ahead. You will also need your social security number and access to a bank account, preferably your own! Most state agencies prefer payment by check or debit card so if this is not an option for you, reach out to the agency and ask if they will accept other payment methods. You will be paying a nominal fee to submit your medical marijuana application, usually under $50.
Finding the Right Doctor
For some people, in some states, this part will be easy. You will have a long standing relationship with your Primary Care Provider (PCP) and they will have years of medical records outlining your disease or medical condition. If this is your situation, great and now you just need to check with your state to make sure your doctor is registered with the Medical Marijuana Program in your state. Please note not all states require doctors to be registered. If you do not have a doctor or it’s been years since you set foot in their office, either reestablish that connection or reach out to friends and family for recommendations. You will be surprised at how many people in your circle may have already gone through this process, they just don’t talk openly about it. If you can get a good referral to a doctor your aunt used, it will speed up the process.
What Medical Conditions Qualify Me for a Medical Marijuana Card?
Each state has a slightly different answer to this question however the answer seems to fall into two different categories, specific diseases and medical conditions and general medical conditions. Most states list diseases like cancer, epilepsy, HIV and AIDS, multiple sclerosis and ALS as ones that will easily qualify you for a medical marijuana card with the proper documentation. Other diseases and conditions such as PTSD, anxiety and the big one, chronic pain require some research on your part and some significant documentation on the part of your doctor to streamline the process. What should you do if you have anxiety or chronic pain and have not been treated by a doctor for this condition? First step, make an appointment with a doctor. Second, document your own symptoms. This may not help much in dealing with the state application process but will go a long way with the doctor you visit. Doctors who refer patients for medical marijuana cards want to feel confident in their decisions so by taking the time to document the progression of your symptoms in detail over time, you will make it much easier for them to feel confident in recommending you for a medical marijuana card. If you are the parent of a potentially qualifying minor, prepare to jump through a few extra hoops at this stage. Even marijuana friendly states such as Colorado require you to obtain two different doctor certifications for your child.
Once you have gathered your documents, seen a doctor and obtained their certification, now you will need to complete the online application in your state, submit it along with copies of your ID, payment and now you wait. How long you wait once again depends on where you live. Some applications take a few days, others take a few weeks. Some states do not issue a card but you will still be required to go through a similar process and be part of your state’s registry. Make sure to check your email often in case issues arise. Of course you can always use their waiting time to research dispensaries in your areas as well as what strains of marijuana will help most with your medical condition. Before you know it, you will have your card, your medical marijuana and relief!
Please use the links below to get started in your state:
Kentucky (CBD Oil Only)
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