Legal States

Washington Medical Marijuana Qualification

Who Qualifies for Medicinal Marijuana in Washington

On November 3, 1998, 59% of Washington voters approved Measure 692, which removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of medical marijuana (also referred to as medical weed, medical pot or medical cannabis) by patients who possess "valid documentation" from their physician affirming that he or she suffers from a debilitating condition and that the "potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks."  Patients who possess larger quantities of cannabis than those approved by the Department will continue to receive legal protection under Washington's medical marijuana law if they present evidence indicating that they require such amounts to adequately treat their qualifying medical condition.

Read the full text of the Washington State Medical Marijuana Act here.

How to Become a Medical Marijuana Patient in Washington

  • Must be a resident of Washington with a valid Washington I.D. as proof of residency. 
  • Obtain a copy of your medical records indicating diagnosis of a qualifying condition, as listed below. Learn how to request your medical records and remember to bring these records with you to your marijuana evaluation appointment.Must have a formal statement signed by a Medical Doctor (MD), Doctor of Osteopathy (DO), registered nurse practitioner, naturopathic physician, medical physician assistant, or osteopathic physician assistant currently licensed to practice medicine in Washington. Find a medical marijuana doctor in Washington here.

What Ailments Can Be Treated with Medical Cannabis?        

Patients in Washington diagnosed with the following illnesses are afforded legal protection under the Washington Medical Marijuana law:

  • CancerHIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy or other seizure disorder, or spasticity disorders;
  • Intractable pain;
  • Glaucoma, either acute or chronic;
  • Crohn's Disease;
  • Hepatitis C; or
  • Any disease, including anorexia, which results in nausea, vomiting, wasting, appetite loss, cramping, seizures, muscle spasms, and/or spasticity, when these symptoms are unrelieved by standard treatments.

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 Washington medical marijuana laws, patients and their caregivers may grow medical marijuana for the patient's private use and may possess a "sixty-day supply." While Washington's original medical marijuana laws do not include provisions for the selling or distributing of medical cannabis, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn signed a new law in July 2011 that will allow medical marijuana dispensaries to be regulated in Seattle like any legal business. Please note that your recommendation is valid as long as your physician deems necessary.

How to Contact the Washington State Department of Health

Mailing Address:

Washington State Department of Health
1112 SE Quince St.
P.O. Box 47890
Olympia, WA 98504-7890

Phone Number:
(800) 525-0127 or (360) 236-4052