WA Marijuana Qualification

Updated on May 6, 2020.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

What Ailments Qualify For Medical Cannabis in Washington

Patients in Washington diagnosed with one of the following severe, debilitating, or life-threatening medical conditions, are afforded legal protection under Washington’s medical marijuana law:

Please note, as per Washington’s Department of health, Mental Health Conditions do not qualify since the State of Washington has determined there is not enough scientific evidence to support Medical Marijuana Treatment for Mental Health Conditions.

Washington Medical Marijuana Program: Information

To become a medical marijuana patient, schedule an appointment with your health care practitioner to see if your condition qualifies. If it’s determined your condition would benefit from the medical use of marijuana, your health care practitioner will provide you with a completed medical marijuana authorization form.

  1. Patients must be a resident in the state of Washington.
  2. Patients must be at least eighteen (18) years of age. If under the age of eighteen (18), patients must have a designated provider. Patients under the age of 21 cannot receive Medical marijuana that was produced, processed or delivered through a cooperative garden, nor, participate in a cooperative garden. The designated provider can only participate on behalf of the patient.
  3. Patients must be diagnosed with one or more of the above Qualifying Condition(s).
  4. If Patients receive an authorization from a Healthcare Practitioner, patients are able to grow up to four (4) plants. If patients are authorized to grow more than four (4) plants, they can access the benefits of being a regonized card holder by taking their authorization form to a Medically Endorsed Marijuana Store. They will then be entered into the Medical Marijuana Authorization Database and the plants the patient has been allotted to grow will be printed on a card.

Who Qualifies for Medicinal Marijuana in Washington

November 03, 1998, Ballot Initiative I-692 was approved, removing all state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana 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.”

November 02, 2008, the Final Rule was amended to include Crohn’s disease and Hepatitis C, with debilitating nausea, vomiting, wasting, appetite loss, cramping, seizures, muscle spasms, or spasticity, when those conditions are unrelieved by standard treatments or medications, to list of qualifying medical conditions.

August 31, 2010, chronic renal failure was added to the complete list of qualifying medical conditions, for the state’s medical marijuana program.

July 01, 2016, the Cannabis Protection Act, goes into full effect, implementing the Medical Marijuana Authorization Database — while the database is NOT mandatory, registered patients and designated providers who do choose to voluntarily register, will receive a recognition card, also known as a medical marijuana card/cannabis I.D. card, that will ensure the individual legal protection from state-level criminal penalties for the use, possession or cultivation, of cannabis; and receive a tax break on the medication (medical marijuana is sale tax free).

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How to Become a Medical Marijuana Patient in Washington

  1. Patients must be a resident of the state of Washington with proof of residency. If you do not have a Washington 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.
  2. Patients must be at least 21 years of age.
  3. The qualifying patient must have been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition.
  4. Patients must obtain legitimate medical records or documentation from his/her primary care physician describing his/her diagnosis. Ensure to bring all records with to the marijuana evaluation appointment – *Learn how to request your medical records
  5. The qualifying patient must have been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition – *Find a certified medical marijuana physician in Washington
  6. Once the patient has been certified – effective July 01, 2016 – patients may choose whether or not to voluntarily register with the state patient authorization database. Qualified medical marijuana patients who choose to register with the authorization database, will receive a tax break on the medication and be ensured legal protection from arrest and prosecution. Individuals who choose to register will receive a recognition I.D. card.

Medical Marijuana Access in Washington

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.

Washington medical marijuana law currently allows qualified and registered patients or appointed designated caregivers, to cultivate and possess no more than twenty-four (24) ounces of usable cannabis, and fifteen (15) mature marijuana plants. However on July 01, 2016, as per the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, the possession amounts will change, dependent on whether or not, a patient or designated caregiver/provider, has been entered in the state’s marijuana database. Patients and cannabis providers, who voluntarily register with the state’s database, may legally possess up to eight(8) ounces of usable marijuana and may cultivate up to six (6) cannabis plants.

* Please note: Healthcare practitioners may authorize patients to cultivate up to fifteen (15) plants, and possess up to sixteen (16) ounces.

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