Updated on May 20, 2021.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
The news is good for patients who want to explore alternative approaches for chronic disease and symptoms. If you have been asking yourself, “how much is a medical marijuana license in Michigan?” it is very affordable. Many people get their Michigan medical marijuana license under $200.00, including the health evaluation and registration fees.
Medical marijuana may provide wellness benefits for patients who have qualifying health conditions. In Michigan, some of the qualifying health conditions include Glaucoma, Cancer, Hepatitis C and Crohn’s Disease.
For some patients with long-term chronic pain, prescription medications do not always work. The risk of opioid overdose has many patients exploring alternative approaches to symptom management. If you have been thinking that getting a medical marijuana card was too expensive, here is some information about what it is going to cost you.
Why Are Michigan Medical Marijuana Card and Health Fees Not Covered by Health Insurance?
Should the costs of getting a medical marijuana card in Michigan be covered by health plans? Both private and government sponsored healthcare insurance plans (like Medicaid and Medicare) do not compensate or cover expenses related to medical marijuana treatments.
Insurance companies do not want to cover the cost of any medical products or services that are illegal at the Federal level. Even though medical marijuana has been legalized in Michigan, the Federal Government still classifies it as a controlled and illegal substance. Insurance companies would be violating Federal law by compensating patients.
One of the reasons why there is such a big push to Federally legalize medical cancer is to allow for health insurance companies to “pick up the tab” for patients. While the registration fees in most states are extremely low, there are other costs for patients that have chronic health conditions.
The medical costs associated with getting a Michigan marijuana card and remaining a patient in good standing with the MMMP include (but are not limited to):
Physician evaluation expenses (doctor’s fee for the appointment)
Cost of cannabis delivery
Registration and annual renewal costs
Cost of cannabis accessories and cleaning supplies
Ongoing cost of medical cannabis (tinctures, vapes, etc.)
One of the other reasons that advocates of the Michigan medical marijuana program would like to qualify for health insurance coverage, is the benefit of maximizing insurance co-pays. Right now, a patient may incur some expenses getting and renewing their medical marijuana card. But those expenses are not applied to the annual minimum out-of-pocket patient expenses.
If the Federal government rescheduled cannabis, it could be viewed like any other prescription medication. It would qualify toward the annual patient health insurance copay and could save patients with private insurance thousands of dollars annually.
Michigan Reduced the Cost of Medical Marijuana Cards in 2019
When the Michigan medical marijuana program launched, the cost of the application fee for patients was $60. However, in 2019 the MI Marijuana Regulatory Agency announced that it would lower the application fee for patients to $40.
The fee was lowered after the MMMA removed the required background check fee for caregivers. It also removed the fee for modifying marijuana registry cards, such as address changes or card replacement costs. States like New Jersey are slowly phasing out the registration fee for patients. It makes the option of medical marijuana more accessible to qualifying residents who may be on a limited or fixed income. This includes patients on Medicaid, SNAP, or Medicare.
In 2019 the Michigan Marijuana Regulatory Agency also extended the renewal period. Patients were only permitted to renew their MMJ card within a sixty (60) day windows prior to expiration. To allow for more processing time, the MMMA extended the renewal period to ninety (90) days before expiration.
What are the Costs of Getting a Card?
Patients can make their application for a medical marijuana card and pay a $40 fee to join the patient registry. However, part of the documentation required to get a medical marijuana card in Michigan is also the fee for a physician evaluation.
Many physicians in Michigan charge just under $100 dollars for the health evaluation. A review by a licensed Michigan physician is required. The physician must know the patient and have a “bona fide” patient and doctor relationship. That means more than one visit is required for eligibility. Many doctors will provide one price for 3-4 visits required by law, before they can review and recommend a patient for the Michigan medical marijuana program.
How Much Weed Can a Cardholder in Legally Possess for Medical Use?
Each cardholding patient in Michigan who is aged 21 years or older, can possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis when traveling outside their home. If they are in their home, the amount of cannabis they can legally posses is 10 ounces.
When it comes to cannabis concentrates however, a medical marijuana cardholding patient in Michigan may have no more than 15 grams. Medical marijuana patients in Michigan can cultivate up to 12 cannabis plans.
Can You Get MMJ Delivery in Michigan?
If you have moderate to severe health systems, and you need your “daily green”, driving to the dispensary may not always be practical or convenient. Both medical marijuana cardholders and recreational consumers in Michigan can now purchase cannabis online and get home delivery.