Cannabis has always been a major controversy in all kinds of communities. But even if there’s a faction that’s against it, there’s another that supports the use of it. After all, it’s said to bring many health benefits to the table and has proven time and time again its potential advantages if it’s ever legalized. And, as you may already know, it has long been legalized in different states throughout the U.S.
Ever since California made medical cannabis legal in 1996, many states have followed suit. Fast forward to 25 years later, the vast majority of states in the country have legalized the use of cannabis, that is, as long as the user has a medical marijuana card.
What Is A Medical Cannabis Card?
This is similar to an identification card, except it can serve as a free pass for using weed. For example, if an officer stops you while you’re using cannabis, showing your medical card could get you out of any potential charges.
Dispensaries are also required to distribute medical cannabis only to customers who possess that particular card. So basically, with that sort of card, you can purchase, possess, use, and in some states open a marijuana dispensary, which is otherwise illegal. Of course, this is all under the assumption that you’ll only use the product for medical purposes. Otherwise, your card may get revoked, or worse, you can receive charges for misusing it.
Although applying for a medical cannabis card might go differently from state to state, the process would always follow the same pattern. More precisely, it includes these steps:
- Book An Appointment With A Doctor
There are several things you need to accomplish when applying for a medical card, but it would start with the booking of an appointment. Of course, before you can do that, you must first find a doctor qualified to distribute such cards. The best way to do this is to simply look at a cannabis doctor directory. It’s essential to look for a doctor who’s situated near you since the card might not work if it was issued in another state.
Take note that you’ll have to pay the consultation fee, which should be anywhere from $50 to $150, depending on the doctor. That’s why when searching for a doctor, make sure you have the highest chances of success by ensuring that they have a record of qualifying examiners.
Once you find a doctor who you think would be lenient when it comes to your examination, you’ll have to fill out a form that usually requires the following information:
- Date of birth
- Contact number
- Email address
- Physician name
You can get a physical form from a local office, but it’s generally better to book an appointment by filling out the online form of a health care institution or physician.
- Prepare The Necessary Paperwork
Once the doctor accepts your request, they’ll schedule a date for your consultation. Before that day comes, you must make sure you have the necessary paperwork ready. For your reference, doctors would typically ask for proof of residency and identity, which means you’ll need to provide the following documentation on or before the day of the appointment:
- Government-issued ID card
- Voter’s card
- Recent utility bill
The doctor may also ask for your medical records to check if you’re suffering from one of the qualifying conditions for a medical cannabis card. If you’re unfamiliar with them, qualifying conditions are the health issues that would give you a better chance of passing a particular examination, hence the term. Here’s a look at some of the qualifying conditions for a medical card:
- Anxiety disorders
- HIV / AIDS
- Neurodegenerative disorders
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Terminal illness
Take note that the qualifying conditions for the card differ from state to state. Moreover, there’s still a possibility of qualifying for the card despite not having any of those conditions. At the end of the day, it all depends on what you do during the examination and how lenient the doctor is, which is what the next step is all about.
- Pass The Medical Examination
Even if you don’t have any of the qualifying conditions, you may still pass the exam if you present yourself perfectly, and that includes your appearance and attitude.
For your appearance, it’s essential to look as decent and well groomed as possible. After all, you wouldn’t want to look like someone who’d abuse the card as soon as you get it. As for your attitude, make sure you show your eagerness to the doctor. Ask a couple of questions here and there to indicate that you’re willing to learn about how cannabis works.
It would also help if you showcased your existing knowledge of the plant since the doctor is more likely to qualify an examiner who knows what they’re doing.
Once you have your medical card, all that’s left is to look for a reputable dispensary to purchase cannabis products from. Typically, when you pass the exam, the doctor would recommend an establishment where you can get medical cannabis.
What Happens if you Move to Another State?
In this situation, you’ll be required to get another medical card issued by a doctor or institution in that state. This means you have to pay for the consultation fee, pass the examination, and basically go through all the steps once again.
The good news is that there are states that allow individuals to use a card that was issued in another state. These include Oklahoma and California, among others.
Take note that while some of these states allow you to purchase and use cannabis using an out-of-state card, others would only let you possess and use cannabis. If you intend on staying in that state for a while, then getting a new medical card is still the best course of action since you’ll be able to purchase more that way.
How Long Until You Get A New Cannabis Marijuana Card?
The validity period of a medical marijuana card differs from state to state. Some states require individuals to get a new card every 60 days, but in most cases, it would be valid for up to two years. This, however, can be cut short if the doctor deems the individual irresponsible and revokes their card. If it isn’t your first time applying for a medical card, it should be easier to pass the evaluation given you didn’t violate any rules when you first had your card.
While a medical cannabis card allows you to use weed as much as you like, it’s advisable to stick to a limit when using infused products. That way, when it’s time to renew your card, you can breeze through the process. Furthermore, it’s advisable to only get marijuana products from a reputable dispensary to ensure that the dosage is suitable for consumption.