Updated on January 25, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
When it comes to obtaining a medical marijuana recommendation, each state has its own set of regulations. Having a medical marijuana card allows you to gain access to all local marijuana dispensaries in your state. And, depending on what state you live in, this means you may have access to many different:
To purchase medical marijuana from legal dispensaries in your state, you must obtain the medical marijuana cards that are required by law. All cannabis cards require a certified written letter of consent from your physician. This also means you must have a condition that’s listed on your state’s medical marijuana list to get one of these cards. Remember, you should be using your medical cannabis to treat your medical condition.
The point of medical weed is to treat a medical condition, like chronic pain or epilepsy, effectively. If your doctor recommends it, the next step is to get a certified letter of consent from them. But, not many primary care physicians are up-to-date on medical cannabis. You may have to find a licensed marijuana doctor online, which is where the “Find a Doctor” tool on the MarijuanaDoctors.com website is extremely valuable and helpful.
Most people get their medical marijuana cards online. It’s a simple and quick process.
If you have internet access, you’ll be able to apply for a medical marijuana evaluation and card online. Simply fill out the online form. Don’t worry about privacy. Your information is kept private in accordance with the federal HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) laws.
Once you’ve uploaded your documents, you can choose to use your doctor’s recommendation, which is all you need legally, or you can opt to purchase a medical marijuana ID card, depending on your state’s requirements. It’s convenient, and you can carry it around with you in your wallet or purse with your other important cards, like your driver’s license and credit cards.
Each legal state varies slightly with its requirements, so be sure to review your state’s requirements. Below are the general steps to take to obtain your medical marijuana recommendation:
You should have documentation or medical records from your primary care physician supporting the diagnosis of your qualifying condition. You’ll want to have these records available for your marijuana evaluation appointment.
If you’re the parent or caregiver of a child who has a qualifying health condition, you’ll be able to follow the below steps to obtain a letter/card for them. You still must be at least 18 years old and be the primary caregiver for your child to get them medical weed.
A primary caregiver is an individual who consistently provides for the child or another person who requires assistance or medical care regarding housing, safety and health. In some cases, you may need to take courses to qualify yourself as a primary caregiver, particularly if you’re providing specialist care.
Once you’ve accessed the website, you’ll be able to contact a doctor and have a one-on-one qualifying interview. Again, there’s no reason to be hesitant with providing your medical information over the phone. However, you also can set up an interview to speak with someone in person if you’d prefer.
First, create an account. Second, fill out a medical evaluation form asking for your:
You’ll answer questions about your medical condition to properly assess your need for medical marijuana. The next step is uploading your ID or taking a photo of your medical marijuana card. You can upload your driver’s license or passport. If you’re a U.S. resident, you can obtain a cannabis card.
You will meet with a licensed doctor for a short session discussing your current medical condition, history and how the drug may help relieve your condition. The physicians at places like MarijuanaDoctors.com will make you feel at ease.
Once the doctor approves you, you’ll receive a temporary ID card in a PDF template you can download or print out via email. However, since most dispensers require a hard copy recommendation and ID, you may have to wait to purchase the medical marijuana until you receive these documents by regular mail.
It takes about two to three business days to receive your official recommendation letter with your:
The doctor’s signature will also be on the card. This will be your official medical marijuana card and will allow you to purchase medical marijuana at legal dispensers.
The wallet ID fits perfectly in your wallet or purse. It’s important to remember not all states issue the medical cards. Sometimes, it’s the doctor’s office issuing them. Just like any other important documentation or card, be sure to keep your card in a safe place.
You can ask for an extra ID card or recommendation letter if you feel you need one, too. Make sure you always carry your documentation, especially when you travel. You will need it to show the dispensary staff for them to issue or prescribe your dose and give it to you.
The staff member will verify your patient ID number and let you proceed once they confirm your recommendation letter is genuine. Your recommendation letter should be good for one year. After one year is up, you’ll need to obtain another one.
Once approved, your doctor will:
As you can see from these steps, consulting online is easy and simple.
You have certain responsibilities as a patient. After you get your official recommendation in the mail, keep it in a secure place. Be sure to bring it with you each time you go to your local dispensary, even if you’ve been there more than once. Don’t expect the staff members at the dispensary will allow you to obtain your cannabis treatment without your documents.
It’s also important to remember a few things about possessing marijuana for medical use. Follow the rules. Never carry over the legal amount. Never make purchases for non-patients and never use it while driving. Those things are against the law and will send you to jail despite obtaining it legally.
Most people who honestly use medical marijuana strictly for the purpose to relieve the symptoms of their medical condition will follow the rules. They understand why and appreciate the fact they can purchase this drug to help reduce certain effects of their medical condition.
During your evaluation, be sure to show the doctor you understand the implications completely of using medical pot, why you believe it can help relieve your symptoms and why you should take it. You might not get an approval if you don’t do this part of the process properly. Once your doctor feels you completely understand everything and believes your condition qualifies for the medical herb, you should have no problem getting your recommendation letter.