Medical Marijuana Age Requirement
Posted by Glenn Beierle on 05/17/2018 in Medical Marijuana
Updated on January 14, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Currently, many states in the U.S. allow residents to possess medical marijuana. The age requirement for medical marijuana is 18 years in these states, so adults with qualifying medical conditions can use the limited number of ounces allowed in each state for medical use. However, the regulations for obtaining a medical marijuana card or a “weed card” differ from state to state.
How Old Do You Need to Be to Get Medical Marijuana?
In the states that have legalized medical marijuana, a doctor’s recommendation is required for anyone to be certified to take medical marijuana for an acceptable condition. In most of these states, minors can use medical marijuana, but they must take it under the care and supervision of a registered caregiver who’s at least 18 years old.
In nine states and Washington D.C., Americans can legally possess a certain quantity of marijuana for recreational use, as well. These states include Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia. In all these states, the minimum age requirement is 21 years.
This age is not a random selection — it was chosen because the brain of many young adults continues to grow even after the age of 18. This means smoking marijuana without discretion will have less of an effect on the minds of people in their mid-20s compared to those who are still teenagers.
Medical and Recreational Marijuana Age Requirements by State
As stated above, the age requirement to qualify for medical marijuana vary depends on the state in which a person lives. Here is a list of the legal states, along with the regulations and age requirements for accessing cannabis as a patient and as a caregiver:
- Alaska: Residents need to be 21 years or older to get a medical marijuana card to take care of minors who need marijuana for medical use.
- Arizona: Residents must be 18 years old to obtain their medical marijuana card to take care of any underage patients under their supervision.
- Arkansas: Residents need to be up to 21 years of age to get a medical cannabis card to serve as caregivers to any minor who requires marijuana for medical use.
- California: Residents who have reached the age of 18 years can apply for and receive a medical marijuana card to take care of the needs of minors.
- Colorado: State residents who are 18 years old can receive a medical marijuana card to take care of a maximum of five minors under their supervision.
- Connecticut: Any resident who is 18 years old can obtain a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana to treat a minor who has a condition that qualifies for the use of medical cannabis.
- Delaware: To obtain a medical marijuana card, a resident of this state must be 18 years old, and the card may be used to purchase medical cannabis for a minor.
- District of Columbia: An 18-year-old resident of Washington D.C. can register as a caregiver to take care of a minor who needs medical marijuana.
- Florida: Florida residents who have attained the age of 18 years can apply to get a medical cannabis recommendation to take care of a minor in their care.
- Hawaii: In Hawaii, an 18-year-old resident can be a caregiver to one patient who is eligible to enjoy medical marijuana treatment.
- Illinois: Residents of Illinois who want to serve as caregivers to a qualifying minor must be 21 years or older.
- Maine: In Maine, the minimum age for medical marijuana caregivers who need to obtain cannabis for a minor is 21 years.
- Maryland: To apply for a medical marijuana card to care for a minor in need of cannabis in Maryland, residents need to be at least 21 years old.
- Massachusetts: Residents that are 21 years or older can register for a medical marijuana card in Massachusetts and provide care for a minor who needs medical cannabis.
- Michigan: In Michigan, medical marijuana caregivers must be 21 years old to obtain their registration card and obtain cannabis for minors.
- Minnesota: Residents of Minnesota must be 18 years old before they can be in possession of medical marijuana and act as caregivers for minors who need it.
- Montana: A resident of this state, who is also a minor’s legal guardian, may apply for a medical marijuana card and obtain cannabis for a minor.
- Nevada: An 18-year-old resident of Nevada can register as a caregiver and get medical marijuana for an underage patient.
- New Hampshire: In New Hampshire, residents who have reached the age of 21 years can register as medical marijuana caregivers for five minors.
- New Jersey: Residents who want to buy and keep medical marijuana for minors in New Jersey must be 18 years or older.
- New Mexico: Residents must be at least 18 years old before they’re allowed to apply as caregivers for minors who need medical marijuana.
- New York: Residents who are 21 years old can provide care for a maximum of 5 minors who need to use medical marijuana.
- North Dakota: The minimum age for caregivers in North Dakota is 21 years. Each caregiver must obtain a medical cannabis card to be able to get medical marijuana for minors who are less than 19 years of age.
- Ohio: In Ohio, anyone who wants to get medical marijuana for a minor must be 21 years or older.
- Oregon: Residents in Oregon must be 18-years-old to get their registration card for medical marijuana and use it to obtain medication for minors.
- Pennsylvania: The regulations in Pennsylvania allow residents who are 18 years or older to serve as caregivers for minors who need medical cannabis.
- Rhode Island: To serve as a caregiver for a total of five patients, residents of Rhode Island need to be 21 years old to obtain a recommended dose of medical marijuana.
- Vermont: A resident of Vermont who is 18 years or older can act as a caregiver for a minor who needs medical cannabis.
- Washington: In Washington, residents who are 21 years old can apply to become caregivers to just one minor who has obtained a medical marijuana card.
- West Virginia: Caregivers for eligible minors must be 18 years old to get their medical cannabis card and obtain marijuana for qualified minors who need the medication.
Find a Nearby Marijuana Doctor
Patients can find out if they qualify for medical marijuana by talking with a reliable cannabis doctor in their area.