March 15th, 2009 – Source
Guide Note – Most states that have passed laws legalizing marijuana for medical use have some type of registration program and require patients and caregivers to obtain a medical marijuana card. This page includes a state-by-state guide on how to register and obtain a card.
* As of March 2009, 14 states have passed laws legalizing marijuana for medical use. These states include Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Many of these states require patients intending to use marijuana for medical use to register first–but what exactly required depends on the state. If you are considering talking to your doctor about using marijuana for your medical condition, then you will want to find out what is required to register in your state before your visit as medical documentation in some form is necessary in every state.
o NOTE: This page is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as recommendation by Mahalo for any sort of illegal or unauthorized drug use. Although state regulations may rule otherwise, using marijuana for any purposes– including medical– is still illegal under federal law.
* In Alaska, you must obtain a Registry Identification Card for Medical Use of Marijuana if you are a patient or a caregiver. To do this, you must submit the following items:
1. A completed Marijuana Application Packet1
2. A nonrefundable fee of $25.00 ($20.00 for a renewal)
3. A copy of the patient’s Alaska State Driver’s License or Identification Card.
4. A copy of all caregivers’ Alaska State Driver’s License or Identification Card.
5. A signed statement from the patient’s physician that addresses the patient’s condition, states that the physician personally examined the patient and how the physician came to the conclusion that medical marijuana was justified.2
6. Paperwork should be sent to Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics Marijuana Registry; P.O. Box 110699; Juneau, AK 99811-0699.1
7. If the patient is a minor, an original (not photocopied) statement from the minor’s parent or legal guardian that gives consent.
* Application, documents and fee should be sent to Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics Marijuana Registry; P.O. Box 110699; Juneau, AK 99811-0699.1 In order to obtain a card as a caregiver, you must be at least 21 years old, not currently on parole or probation, and never have been convicted of a felony offense under AS 11.71 or AS 11.73. If your application is denied, you will not be allowed to resubmit it for six months.3
* A to Z Listing of Medical Marijuana County Program Business Hours
* The California Medical Marijuana Program is an optional program that is regulated on the county level, not the state level.4 As of November 2008, all but a handful of counties had implemented a medical marijuana program. Counties that were not participating include Colusa, Madera, Mariposa, Modoc, Mono, Nevada, San Bernadino, San Diego, Solano, Sutter and Ventura. Alpine, Fresno, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Siskiyou and Stanislaus counties were in the process of implementing a program, so make sure to check in with your local officials on the current status in your county before proceeding with an application.5
1. To register, you will need to contact your county. A complete listing of each county’s medical marijuana program is listed on the California Department of Public Health website.6
2. You will need to fill out an application.7
3. You will also need documentation of the patient’s medical records.8
4. The cost for registering includes a $66.00 state fee plus any additional county fees.9
* In Colorado, anyone who wishes to possess marijuana for medical use must obtain a Medical Marijuana Registry identification card from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.10 Cards can be obtained by submitting the following to the state:
1. A completed New/Renewal Application for Identification Card.11
2. A copy of your Colorado driver’s license or ID card.11
3. A non-refundable $90 application fee (check or money order made out to CDPHE).11
4. The physician certification form completed and signed by a doctor licensed to work in Colorado.11
* Items should be sent to Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Medical Marijuana Registry; HSVRD-MMP-A1; 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South; Denver, Colorado 80246-1530. There is a different application form for patients under 18.12 For more information, you can contact the registry by calling (303) 692-2184.11
* In Hawaii, patients do need a medical marijuana card, and must register with the Narcotics Enforcement Division of the Department of Public Safety.13 To do this, the patient must:
1. Ask their doctor to fill out a written certification form from the Department of Public Safety.
Forms must be filled out in the doctor’s office and cannot be taken home.14
2. A copy of the form can be found at Medical Marijuana of Hawaii: Written Certification / Registry Identification Forms for the Medical Use of Marijuana WARNING: PDF File 14
3. Forms can also be obtained by contacting the Department of Public Safety at (808) 837-8470.15
2. The form must be sent with a copy of the patient’s and the patient’s primary caregiver’s current Hawaii driver’s licenses, Hawaii state identification cards or Passports.15
3. Payment can be in the form of a personal, certified, or cashier’s check or money order and should be made out to the “Narcotics Enforcement Division.”15
4. Forms should be sent to the following address: Narcotics Enforcement Division; 3375 Koapaka Street, Suite D-100; Honolulu, Hawaii 96819.15
* In Maine, there is no official registration program or card necessary. Instead, a person may possess a “usable amount of marijuana for medical reasons” if they have written documentation or an authenticated copy of their medical records.16 The documentation or records must show:
1. The person has been diagnosed with one of the conditions approved under Maine law.16
2. The physician mentioned on the documentation or records has a “bona fide physician-patient relationship with the person.”16
* Caregivers may lawfully possess marijuana if they are determined to be a “designated caregiver” under the law and is possessing it as part of their duties as designated caregiver.17
* In Maryland, there is no official registration program. Instead, Maryland law allows a defendant to use “medical necessity” as a defense for a marijuana possession charge, providing that they possess less than one ounce. The laws do not address growing marijuana, even if it is for medical use.18 If successful, the maximum penalty for the charge is a $100 fine.19
* Michigan approved a medical marijuana program in November 2008. It is scheduled to be operational on April 4, 2009. For more information, check out Michgan.gov’s Department of Community Health page on the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program.20
* In Montana, patients and caregivers must register with the the Quality Assurance Division of the Department of Public Health and Human Services.21 To register, the patient or caregiver must:
1. Complete the application form. You must have a valid Montana driver’s license or state identification card.22
2. Provide written certification from a doctor that the patient is a qualifying patient.23 The Department of Public Health and Human Services provides a form for this certification.24
3. Send the application, written certification and a $50 application fee to Department of Public Health and Human Services / Quality Assurance Division; Licensure Bureau; PO Box 202953; Helena, MT 59620-2953.23
* In order to possess marijuana for medical purposes in Nevada, you must first register with the Nevada State Health Division and obtain a registry identification card. To obtain an application for the card, you must send a written request to Nevada State Health Division; 1000 E William Street; Suite 209; Carson City, Nevada 89701.
1. Include the address where the application should be sent on the request.
2. If you have a caregiver, request a caregiver packet.
3. If the application is for a minor, request a minor release packet.
4. An application fee of $50 must be included with the request. Make checks or money orders out to the Nevada State Health Division.25
* You can also contact the Nevada State Health Division by calling (775) 687-7594 or faxing (775) 687-7595.25 There will be an additional $150 registration fee that must accompany the application.26
* In order to use marijuana for medical purposes in New Mexico, the following items must be submitted to the Department of Health:
1. A letter from the patient’s doctor or a “Medical Provider Certification for Eligibility” form.27
2. A copy of the patient’s New Mexico driver’s license, state ID card or passport.28
3. Participant application.29
4. Release of information.30
5. A parental consent form, if the patient is a minor.31
* You can also obtain forms by calling (505) 827-2321. Once completed, forms should be mailed to Department of Health; 1190 St. Francis Drive; Suite S1203; Santa Fe, NM 87502. They can also be faxed to (505) 476-3637. Your application will be approved or denied within 30 days.32 If you want to grow marijuana for your own personal (medical) use, you will need to complete a separate application.33
* The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program is a registry program that is part of the Oregon Department of Human Services Public Health Division. When registering, patients will need to indicate a caregiver and grow site. Doing so on the application protects them from prosecution under Oregon law.34 Here is how you can register with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program:
Complete the application.35 Complete instructions for filling out the application are found online.36
2. Provide a copy of your Oregon photo ID card, Oregon driver’s license, or a current photo ID and a copy of your Oregon voter’s registration card.37
3. Listing a primary caregiver is optional if the patient is over 18.37
4. You or your caregiver may choose to grow marijuana or you may choose a third party to grow the marijuana for you.37
1. Grow sites cannot be P.O. boxes.
2. Growers are subject to a criminal history check for felony convictions.
3. You must provide a copy of the person’s current Oregon photo ID.37
5. Include a statement from your attending physician. The form for this statement is available online.38
6. If the patient is a minor, attach a declaration from the person responsible for the minor. The form for this statement is available online.39
* Applications should be sent to DHS/OMMP; PO BOX 14450; Portland, OR 97293-0450. You can contact the Oregon Department of Human Services by calling (971) 673-1234.35
* In Rhode Island, the Department of Health will issue a registry identification card to patients and primary caregivers provided they submit the following information:
1. From a medical doctor that the patient has a relationship with, written certification which states that:
1. The patient has a debilitating condition and what specifically that condition is.
2. The doctor believes that the benefits outweigh the risks to the patient’s health.
2. A non-refundable application fee of $75 for each patient or primary caregiver.
3. A completed application40
4. Name, address, and date of birth of each primary caregiver for the patient (if any). Only two primary caregivers can be named for each qualifying patient. A caregiver can have no more than five patients in using medical marijuana.41
5. Background checks for each caregiver. This can be obtained by contacting the Attorney General’s Office at (401) 274-4400.40
6. If the patient is a minor, a completed minor form.40
* Applications should be sent to State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations; Department of Health – Medical Marijuana Program; Office of Health Professionals Regulation, Room 104; 3 Capitol Hill, Providence, RI 02908-5097.40
* In Vermont, patients who wish to use marijuana for medical purposes must register with the Department of Public Safety. This is done by doing the following:
1. Complete the application.42 Part of the application must be completed by your physician. You can also find this portion of the application online.43
2. Have your application (once completed) notarized.44
3. Provide a digital photograph of yourself. The digital photo can be taken with your own camera or by a studio that takes passport photographs. Photographs should be included as a .jpg on a floppy disk or CD that is labeled with your name and date of birth.42
4. Include a non-refundable $50 application fee.44
* Applications should be sent to Marijuana Registry; Department of Public Safety; 103 South Main Street; Waterbury, Vermont 05671. You can contact the registry by calling (802) 241-5115.42 Caregivers must do the same things, but have a different application they must fill out.45
* According to Washington State Department of Health, people who qualify under the law may posses a 60-day supply of marijuana as long as they have a written recommendation from their doctor.46 To qualify, you must:
1. Be a patient of a doctor licensed (not just practicing) in Washington.
2. Have been advised of the risks and benefits of using marijuana medically.
3. Be a resident of Washington when diagnosed.
4. Be able to prove your identity with a Washington driver’s license or ID card.
5. Have a formal statement from your doctor or a copy of medical records that shows a diagnosis of a condition that is approved under Washington law.47
* Once you have registered and obtained a medical marijuana card in your state, you may want to know how to obtain marijuana for medical use. For information on this topic, check out Mahalo’s how to get medical marijuana.
References for How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card
1. ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Alaska Division of Public Health: Marijuana Application Packet WARNING: PDF File
2. ↑ Americans for Safe Access: Becoming a Patient in Alaska – Written Certification Must be Provided to Prove Eligibility
3. ↑ Alaska Division of Public Health: Marijuana Registry
4. ↑ California Department of Public Health: Medical Marijuana Program
5. ↑ California Department of Public Health: Medical Marijuana Program Implementation Schedule WARNING: PDF File
6. ↑ California Department of Public Health: A to Z Listing of Medical Marijuana County Programs
7. ↑ California Department of Public Health: Medical Marijuana Program Application / Renewal Form WARNING: PDF File
8. ↑ California Department of Public Health: Written Documentation of Patient’s Medical Records WARNING: PDF File
9. ↑ California Department of Public Health: Web Fact Sheet WARNING: PDF File
10. ↑ Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: Medical Marijuana in Colorado
11. ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: New/Renewal Applications and Instructions for patients over age 18 WARNING: PDF File
12. ↑ Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: New/Renewal Applications and Instructions for patients under age 18 WARNING: PDF File
13. ↑ State of Hawai’i Department of Public Safety: Narcotics Enforcement Division
14. ↑ 14.0 14.1 Medical Marijuana of Hawaii: Written Certification / Registry Identification Forms for the Medical Use of Marijuana WARNING: PDF File
15. ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 State of Hawai’i Department of Public Safety: Physician’s Guideline for Completing Hawaii’s Written Certification / Registry Identification Forms for the Medical Use of Marijuana WARNING: PDF File
16. ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 Maine Office of the Revisor of Statutes: Title 22, Section 2383-B
17. ↑ Americans for Safe Access: Becoming a Patient in Maine
18. ↑ Americans for Safe Access: Becoming a Patient in Maryland
19. ↑ NORML: Active State Medical Marijuana Programs – Maryland
20. ↑ Michigan.gov MDCH: Michigan Medical Marihuana Program
21. ↑ Department of Public Health & Human Services: Montana Medical Marijuana Program
22. ↑ Department of Public Health & Human Services: New Application Form WARNING: PDF File
23. ↑ 23.0 23.1 Department of Public Health & Human Services: Frequently Asked Questions WARNING: PDF File
24. ↑ Department of Public Health & Human Services: Attending Physician’s Statement-new Application WARNING: PDF File
25. ↑ 25.0 25.1 Nevada State Health Division: Medical Marijuana
26. ↑ Americans for Safe Access: Becoming a Patient in Nevada
27. ↑ New Mexico Department of Health: Medical Provider Certification for Patient Eligibility WARNING: PDF File
28. ↑ Qualified Participant Application Checklist for Adults WARNING: PDF File
29. ↑ New Mexico Department of Health: Medical Cannabis Program Participant Application WARNING: PDF File
30. ↑ New Mexico Department of Health: Participant Consent to Release Medical Information to Primary Caregiver WARNING: PDF File
31. ↑ New Mexico Department of Health: Qualified Minor Parental Consent Form WARNING: PDF File
32. ↑ New Mexico Department of Health: Medical Marijuana Information
33. ↑ New Mexico Department of Health: Application Requirements for Licensure of Qualified Patients to Produce Cannabis Plants for Personal Use Only
34. ↑ Oregon.gov: Basic Facts WARNING: PDF File
35. ↑ 35.0 35.1 Oregon.gov: Application WARNING: PDF File
36. ↑ Oregon.gov: Application Instructions WARNING: PDF File
37. ↑ 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 Oregon.gov: Application Instructions
38. ↑ Oregon.gov: Attending Physician’s Statement WARNING: PDF File
39. ↑ Oregon.gov: Declaration of Person Responsible for a Minor WARNING: PDF File
40. ↑ 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 Rhode Island Department of Health: Instructions and Information for Registration in the RI Medical Marijuana Program WARNING: PDF File
41. ↑ Rhode Island Department of Health: Rules and Regulations Related to the Medical Marijuana Program WARNING: PDF File
42. ↑ 42.0 42.1 42.2 Vermont Criminal Information Center: Registered Patient Application Form WARNING: PDF File
43. ↑ Vermont Criminal Information Center: Physician’s Medical Verification Form WARNING: PDF File
44. ↑ 44.0 44.1 Vermont Criminal Information Center: Vermont Marijuana Registry Information
45. ↑ Vermont Criminal Information Center: Registered Caregiver Application Form WARNING: PDF File
46. ↑ Washington State Department of Health: Medical Marijuana FAQs
47. ↑ Americans for Safe Access: Becoming a Patient in Washington