23 Legal States

Colorado Medical Marijuana Qualification

Who Qualifies for Medicinal Marijuana in Colorado

In November of 2000, voters of the state of Colorado passed Amendment 20 to the state's constitution which legally allows patients with certain illnesses to use marijuana for medical reasons. To qualify for medical marijuana (also referred to as medical weed, medical pot or medical cannabis) you must have a debilitating medical condition and obtain a registry card, also referred to as medical marijana card or cannabis card, from the Department of Public Health and Environment. The Colorado Board of Health has created a set of rules and regulations which create a confidential statewide registry of medical marijuana patients and caregivers with ID cards for all registered patients. Under Amendment 20, patients, physicians and primary or alternate caregivers have an affirmative defense to criminal prosecution under the state's marijuana laws.

Read the full text of Amendment 20 here.

How to Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Colorado

  • Must be a Colorado Resident with a valid Colorado I.D. as proof of residency. If you do not have a Colorado I.D. an out of state I.D., passport, or other photo I.D. with proof of residency such as bank statement, utility bill, etc. is acceptable.
  • Obtain legitimate medical records or documentation from your primary care physician describing their diagnosis. Learn how to request your medical records.
  • Receive a written certification/recommendation from a physician that is licensed in the state of Colorado that states you will benefit from the medicinal use of marijuana. The physician should keep copies of this on file for the verification process. Find a medical marijuana doctor in Colorado here.
  • Obtain a medical marijuana card  from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The cost is $90 and the application process may take up to 30 days. Patients over age 18 can download the application form here. Patients under age 18 can download the form here.

What Ailments Can Be Treated with Medical Cannabis in Colorado?

In Colorado, debilitating medical conditions* are defined as:

  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition other than HIV, cancer or glaucoma; or treatment for such conditions, which produces for a specific patient one or more of the following, and for which, in the professional opinion of the patient's physician, such condition or conditions may reasonably be alleviated by the medical use of marijuana:
    • Cachexia
    • Severe pain;
    • Severe nausea;
    • Seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy
    • Persistent muscle spasms, including those that are characteristic of multiple sclerosis

*You and/or your physician may petition to include other medical conditions that would benefit from the medical use of marijuana in the event your condition is found invalid by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Medical Marijuana Access

Some medical marijuana patients will claim they have a doctor's prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are in fact illegal. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. Therefore doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana physicians will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.

According to Colorado medical marijuana law, patients and their caregivers may cultivate their own medical marijuana for the patient's private use and each may possess two usable ounces and six plants, three of which may be mature. Colorado’s medical marijuana laws do not include provisions for the selling or distributing of medical cannabis.

How to Contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Mailing Address:

Medical Marijuana Registry

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment


4300 Cherry Creek Drive South

Denver, Colorado 80246-1530

Phone Number:

(303) 692-2184