Colorado Medical Marijuana

Updated on January 23, 2020.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

Colorado Medical Marijuana

Colorado Medical Marijuana Program: Contact Details

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Medical Marijuana Registry
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246
Phone: (303) 692-2184
If sending Confidential Information Please Use CDPHE’s Secure Email Portal
Website: Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry

Colorado Medical Marijuana Program: Information

  1. Patients must be eighteen (18) years of age or older. If the patient is a minor under the age of eighteen (18), the minor and primary parent are Colorado Residents and the minor has a Qualifying Medical Condition after seeing two (2) physicians and submit two (2) physician certifications.
  2. Patients must be residents of Colorado and provide valid proof of residency and a valid Driver’s License or State Issued Identification Card.
  3. Patients must be evaluated by a certified physician. Find Certified Physicians in Colorado.
  4. Patient must be diagnosed with a Qualifying Medical Condition.
  5. Patients must submit an Application and register on the Colorado Medical Marijuana Patient Registry.
    • The Application Fee is $25.00 and Non-Refundable.
    • A Copy of the patients Colorado Driver’s License or Identification Card must be uploaded.
    • Patients can apply by Mail by filling out the Application, including a copy of your Driver’s License or ID, with all other required documentation included on the checklist, and a Check or Money Order for the Application Fee made out to CDPHE, mailed to Application Processing CDPHE HSV-8608 4300 Cherry Creek Dr. S. Denver, CO 80246-1530Mailed applications will take six to eight (6-8) weeks to be processed.
  6. If approved, the patient will be notified within three to five (3-5) days and the Medical Marijuana Identification Card will be mailed to the address listed on the application.

Recent Legislation Changes

As legislation in Colorado changes, check back to this section for how these legislation changes affect the medical and recreational marijuana programs in Colorado.

Note from State, on sources for medical marijuana
The Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) website lists the licensed Medical Marijuana Centers (dispensary and caregiver retail operations), “from which Medical Marijuana Registry patients purchase Medical Marijuana and Medical Marijuana infused products.” The MED, “is responsible for the regulation of both the Medical and Retail Marijuana Industries, each of which have separate and distinct statute and rules under which they operate.”
Medical Marijuana Licensing Information” [Accessed March 01, 2016]

Licensing Information” [Accessed March 01, 2016]

The Colorado Patient Registry application fee is $15. The Colorado Marijuana Registry is mandatory.

The Colorado medical marijuana program was bolstered substantially in 2012 when voters approved a ballot initiative to legalize weed for recreational purposes. Now, anyone 21 years of age can possess a small amount of pot without fear of being arrested. Licensed businesses began selling legal weed in 2014, and the state has seen significant economic benefits since. Marijuana sales in the state were nearly $1 billion in 2015 alone.

But Coloradoans were committed to a common-sense approach to marijuana long before the legalization vote took place. For example, on November 07, 2000, 54% of voters approved Ballot Amendment 20, which removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana, by patients possessing a written recommendation from their certified physician advising that he or she may “benefit from the medical use of marijuana”.

Patients possessing this documentation may argue the “Affirmative defense of medical necessity”.

On June 07, 2010, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed House Bill 1284 and Senate Bill 109, into law:

House Bill 1284 provides a regulatory framework for dispensaries, including giving local communities the ability to ban or place sensible and much-needed controls on the operation, location and ownership of these establishments.

Senate Bill 109 will help prevent fraud and abuse, ensuring that physicians who authorize medical marijuana for their patients actually perform a physical exam, do not have a DEA flag on their medical license and do not have a financial relationship with a dispensary.”

Added qualifying conditions: Autism Spectrum Disorder; any condition for which a physician could prescribe an opioid. (

On Jan 1, 2020, MED Regulated Marijuana Rules went into effect.

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Colorado Medical Marijuana Program: Possession and Cultivation Regulations

A patient or a primary caregiver who has been issued a Medical Marijuana Registry identification card may possess no more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana. A patient may not have more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana. Patients who do not join the registry, or possess greater amounts of marijuana than allowed by law, may argue the “affirmative defense of medical necessity,” if arrested on marijuana charges.


Colorado Qualification

People suffering from a wide range of conditions are eligible to legally possess medical marijuana in Colorado. These conditions include:

If you would like to learn more about Who Qualifies for Marijuana in Colorado, check out our detailed guide. This includes restrictions on age and much more information.

Colorado Medical Marijuana Laws

More than 60 cities throughout the state have allowed retail marijuana operations to operate, and experts estimate that the legal market has met approximately 70 percent of the demand for weed in Colorado. However, someone possessing between one and two ounces of cannabis can still lead to a $100 fine.

Possessing more than 12 ounces is considered a felony punishable by up to two years in jail and a find of as much as $100,000. If you would like a thorough rundown, go to our section on Colorado’s Full Medical Marijuana Laws.

Colorado Medical Marijuana Card

Even though recreational weed is legal in Colorado, there are still many advantages to patients who are eligible to receive a medical marijuana card. It allows them (or their caretakers) to grow more plants than are available to recreational users. They also pay lower taxes, and they can purchase two ounces at a time instead of one.

In addition, there are certain strains available for medical patients that are stronger than those generally available for recreational users. provides detailed information on how to get a Colorado Medical Marijuana Card.

Colorado Medical Marijuana Facts

Some cities are relatively lenient when it comes to weed consumption in public, while others are rather strict. Discretion is not only appreciated across the state – in some places, it is required by law.

There are a few private places, known as cannabis clubs, where smoking in public is legal, but users need to be aware that police in many cities will issue tickets for public weed use, much as they would for walking around town with an open container of beer. Here are a few other Colorado Medical Marijuana Facts to make sure you are as informed as possible.

Doctors in Colorado

Learn more about medical marijuana doctors in Colorado by checking out our listings in your city:

Dispensaries in Colorado

Learn more about dispensaries in Colorado by checking out our listings in your city:

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Finally, a helpful & informative website! answered all of my medical marijuana questions and helped me schedule an appointment with an accredited doctor in my area.~Susan - Denver, CO