How To Get A Washington State Medical Marijuana Card?Amanda Hays
In the United States, marijuana/cannabis is legal in some states, while some consider it illegal. Washington State was the first to accept medical marijuana as legal in 1998. It was also the second state to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012.
Patients must be suffering from a qualifying condition or specific disorders and meet other criteria to become MMJ card holders. Read the details to know How to get a Washington State Medical Marijuana Card?
A qualified patient can have a supply for a maximum of 60-days. You can buy 72 ounces of liquid containing marijuana substances. If you are an adult of 21 years or above, you can have 7 grams of marijuana concentrate and may buy an ounce of cannabis. You can also buy 16 ounces of edible cannabis products.
You must be wondering why go for an MMJ card if adult use of cannabis is legal? An MMJ card holder can buy much more marijuana than an adult who does not possess one. An MMJ card holder can buy many products which are not possible for a non-MMJ card holder. Also, the cardholder can grow marijuana plants considered illegal for an ordinary adult.
What are the prerequisites to apply for an MMJ card in Washington?
You must be a Washington State resident.
Your health condition should qualify for applying for an MMJ card.
You should be 18 years or older.
What are the conditions that qualify for an MMJ card in Washington?
If you are diagnosed with any of these terminal health conditions that interfere with your everyday activities and restrict your functioning, you qualify for applying for an MMJ card.
- Cancer which leads to anorexia, nausea, delirium
- Spasticity disorder
- Hepatitis C which may lead to primary liver cancer
- Acute renal failure
- Multiple sclerosis is an acute disease that affects the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves (central nervous system)
- Chronic pain does not subside from regular treatment. 77% of patients are qualified for this symptom to use medical marijuana.
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Diseases that cause vomiting, cramps, loss of appetite, muscle spasms
- Crohn’s disease
- Traumatic brain injury can cause torn tissues, bleeding, and other damage to the brain. It may result in long-term complications and even death.
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
How to Get a Washington State Medical Marijuana Card?
You have to follow these procedures to get an MMJ card in Washington.
1. Evaluation of your health condition
You may go to a doctor (MD)/Naturopathic Physician/Osteopathic Physician (Assistant)/Assistant Physician/Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner to evaluate your health condition for applying for an MMJ card.
2. Consultation and approval
Before evaluation, many doctors screen you by asking questions related to your health conditions. After this, they call you for a complete evaluation and consultation. You must carry your health records while going for the consultation. The doctor may ask you further questions to analyze if you need the help of marijuana to treat your health condition.
If the doctor or physician is sure about your eligibility to use marijuana for your treatment, they give you the medical marijuana authorization form duly signed.
3. Seek an appointment with a certified consultant.
Get an appointment with a medically licensed retail store. The retail store has a certified medical marijuana consultant. The consultant will help you with:
- Entering your and your designated provider’s details from the medical marijuana authorization form into the MMJ database
- Creating an MMJ card for you
- choosing the right products depending on your condition
- details on using the products correctly.
- information on storing cannabis products safely, away from pets and children
- answers to any question regarding MMJ laws of Washington State
After getting an appointment with the licensed retail store, you should take the identification proof and authorization form. On scrutinizing these documents, the consultant will add your name and other details to the database. Once the database entry is complete, the provider will generate your medical marijuana card. With your MMJ card, you will also get the authorization form and the identity card back. Now you can legally buy medical marijuana in Washington.
Entry of your name into the database makes you a legal marijuana user. But you should be aware that your name in the database does not ensure the following.
- Protection from federal prosecution.
- Guarantee of job security in a drug-free organization.
- Use of cannabis in rented houses or renting a home whose landlords are against the use of marijuana.
Entry of your name into the database is not for a lifetime. You need to renew it every six months if you are a minor. If you are an adult above 18 years, the database entry expires in one year and needs renewal.
What are the benefits of registering your name in the database?
- Patients above 18 plus years do not need to register their names in the database, but those under 18 have to register. You may voluntarily do so. But the registry of your name in the database gives you the below-mentioned benefits.
- You do not have to pay sales tax on buying cannabis products.
- You are eligible to buy and possess more cannabis.
- You can buy products with more concentration of THC in them.
- You have permission to grow marijuana plants.
- You may register your name in an MMJ collective.
Can a minor apply for a Marijuana Card?
Getting a medical marijuana card for less than 18 years is not that difficult. Children suffering from conditions requiring medical marijuana will have very detailed and long medical records. This record proves their illness and the medications they take.
A child applying for a Marijuana card must qualify the criteria mentioned by the state.
- The illness or disease a minor suffers from should be critical as per the state.
- A qualified and certified caregiver needs to be appointed.
Who is a caregiver?
A caregiver is officially appointed to look after the well-being and manage the use of cannabis of the Minor, diagnosed with an extreme chronic medical condition. Your child has to apply for a medical marijuana card through the caregiver.
Qualification of a caregiver
- You need to complete a caregiver Core Certificate as per state requirements.
- You should be more than 21 years of age.
- Must possess at least one year of training experience.
- You should be cleared and certified by a local law authority.
- You should not be a drug user either medically or recreationally.
Find the Right Doctor for treating a Minor with Marijuana
Find the right doctor to get the medical marijuana card. You need to inform the primary doctor of your child and take his advice. Doctors may be reluctant to recommend medical marijuana for a child. Often this is the last option for the child when regular medications have had side effects and failed.
Children have a high chance of ill effects from THC. The qualifying criteria for medical cannabis are strict in many states. It requires two pediatric specialist physician certificates to qualify the patient.
How to get a Washington State Medical Marijuana Card for a minor?
The caregiver will be applying for a medical card on behalf of the child. The records and documents submitted are verified. The healthcare practitioner gives the authority card to both the caregiver and the child if he is satisfied.
- Take an appointment with a licensed Physician online.
- After examination by the licensed doctor, you will receive his recommendation or certificate for medical marijuana.
- Register with the state department of health.
- Fill and submit the application form along with the caregiver’s application.
- Submit the documents as required by the state.
The documents required are as under:
- Photo Id of caregiver and child
- Birth certificate of the child
- Address proof of caregiver and child.
- Medical recommendation certificate issued by the doctor.
- Passport-size photo of the caregiver and child.
- Clearance certificate from the law enforcement authority on the criminal background check.
- All relevant medical history of the child.
The cost of acquiring a medical card for a child differs from state to state. Usually, it is on the higher side when compared to the adult card because it requires more processes and documents, like a caregiver’s card, a second doctor’s opinion, etc.
Find the right Medical Dispensary.
It is necessary to find the right dispensary since some are not keen on giving medicinal marijuana with valid medical cards to the child.
Well-known and experienced dispensaries will help you find the exact cannabis medicine for your child.
A lot of trial and error is required to get the right dispensary. You can always take the help of those who have already done the research for their children. You can contact the parents of children on medicinal marijuana through social media and seek their advice.
Getting a medical marijuana card in Washington is not a daunting task. You only need to follow the procedures correctly. In Washington D.C., you generally get a medical marijuana card in the mail ten days after your application. You may later visit a licensed store to get the cannabis products that help you improve your health.
Let us help you find answers to some of the Frequently Asked Questions.
1. How much does it cost to become a patient?
Adults must pay a $1 fee to enroll in the state registry and get a medical marijuana card. But the retail stores may charge you more than $1. Keeping this in mind, the average cost for making an MMJ card may be from $1 to $10.
You have to pay for your cannabis products. But if your name is in the state registry and you have a medical marijuana card, you are exempted from paying sales tax on purchasing cannabis products from a licensed retail store.
2. Can I grow marijuana?
Yes, you can grow up to 6 plants and have up to 8 ounces of weed from those plants in your house if you have an MMJ card. If your physician feels that you need more marijuana for your treatment, you may grow up to 15 plants and have 16 ounces of weed from them.
3. What do you mean by a designated provider?
A designated provider should be above 21 years of age. He is
- the parent or a guardian of a qualifying patient who is under the age of 18 years.
- a person designated by the patient to purchase, provide or grow marijuana on behalf of the patient.
The designated provider also must have a medical marijuana authorization form. He can serve only one patient at a time.
4. How to change my designated provider?
You and your designated provider may not want to continue the relationship. You may do so by completing a revocation request form. You mail it to the address on the top of the request form. This action will disable the MMJ card in the database.
5. How do I find a designated provider?
It is your responsibility to find a suitable designated provider.
You are required to inform your health care practitioner about your designated provider. It is necessary because your healthcare practitioner must provide authorization for each of you. If you are an adult, you must sign both the authorization forms, even though you live at the same residence.
If the patient is a minor, he has to have a designated provider. The parent or a legal guardian can be the provider. The provider must sign both the authorizations on behalf of the patient.
6. Is there a Reciprocity Agreement in place in Washington State?
MMJ patients from other states cannot buy cannabis in Washington using their state MMJ card. Until you get an MMJ card from Washington, you can buy one once recreationally if you are above 21.
7. What to do if I lose my medical marijuana authorization form?
Ask your health care practitioner to replace your medical marijuana authorization form if you lose one. Please note that photocopies of an authorization form are not valid. You must request an original authorization form, signed by your practitioner and printed on the required tamper-resistant paper. Your practitioner may replace the authorization form with the same expiry date or replace it with a new one.
8. How to renew my medical marijuana card?
You must first renew your medical authorization form. For this, you have to schedule a renewal appointment with your practitioner. Once you get the renewed medical authorization form, schedule an appointment with a certified consultant to renew your MMJ card.
9. What is a compassionate care renewal?
When you go for your first in-person physical examination, your health care practitioner may find that in-care visits may cause great difficulty. Then, he will declare you eligible for compassionate care renewal. It allows medical marijuana authorization renewal using telemedicine.
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