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Cannabis 101

What Is a Medical Marijuana Card?

March 27, 2017

What Is a Medical Marijuana Card and How Do You Get One?

A medical marijuana card (also known as “MMID” or “cannabis card”) is an identification card used by patients to enter medical dispensaries (or “cannabis clubs”) and purchase the plant to treat their corresponding health ailment or symptoms. It also allows for the patient to grow at home and use medical cannabis delivery services.


What Are the Benefits of a Medical Cannabis Card in Legal States?

The cards are issued by the state, but the patient must first get a signed recommendation from a licensed physician to qualify. The patient and doctor need to agree that cannabis would be an effective treatment option, and the patient’s condition must be an approved condition by the state. With the doctor’s recommendation, the patient then needs to apply through the state and pay a fee, which will also vary depending on the state. Doctors can’t simply prescribe cannabis to patients due to the plant’s federally illegal status.

The technicalities of how to get an MMID and what it provides you will vary depending on the specific state’s laws and policies. As cannabis legalization expands, the process for patients continues to evolve, especially with more states legalizing recreational (adult-use) cannabis.

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Leafly is the world’s largest cannabis information resource, empowering people in legal cannabis markets to learn about the right products for their lifestyle and wellness needs. Our team of cannabis professionals collectively share years of experience in all corners of the market, from growing and retail, to science and medicine, to data and technology.

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  • TookAnArrowToTheKnee

    I am happy to say that New Mexico requires no fee for mailing in your application. It was a pretty simple process for me. After my doctor filled out the necessary paperwork the only money spent was on the doctors appointment and the postage to mail in the paperwork. Right now expected turn around is only 2 – 4 weeks on your application. While it sounds like a long time it is a lot better than the 4 month waits that New Mexico was experiencing a few years ago. =)

  • dspl

    ID card not necessarily required! Often, all you need is the letter your mmj doctor gave you and your driver’s license (to prove you’re the one on the letter). Check you local mmj laws before paying for s/t you don’t need.
    Still sounds too complicated? Then simply go to a local dispensary and ask them what they require!

  • Brad

    If you ask me, I’d say that the card is kind of difficult to obtain. I got a doctor’s recommendation for having PTSD, no problem with that part. I had to do a lot of calling around to find a physician that is licensed to prescribe. After having found one several miles away from my town, I got in for an appointment.. but not until an entire month from now. I had to print out about 15+ pages, some of them being the forms to fill out to bring with me to the appointment and the welcome letter. It’s a huge disappointment to have to suffer so much while waiting. THC products have been the only successful remedy for my illness in the past. I tried a CBD tincture and it didn’t help at all with my symptoms. It’s also maddening when I see people reviewing dispensaries in my area and not being able to go to them. The medical card “program” is very unfair and I thought that I needed to express it.

  • Maxie Talbert

    I would like to share my experience as i am an anxiety patient. This was getting very difficult for me to work upon my things but then my colleague suggested me to try marijuana and it gave me good results. I was happy and thought of having marijuana so I started searching for it.Found online medical card which help me out to consume it legally.

  • vladdy1

    Missouri just started..application online….. filled out and sent electronically today…Scanned in ID and a recent photo, doctor’s form (one from activist physicians, so no problem with that) and utility bill to show my address. They say it will be in the mail within 30 days. Nothing like the pages and pages of stuff someone here describes…..I took one page from my regular clinic to the “green” doctors who do this; they’ve had experience in several states, so it works almost like a franchise. The doctors there are professionals working to help make this possible all over the country. We chatted about my decades on anti-anxiety and anti-depressents,, and that was it. (Now the 6-month wait till the dispensaries are open…the hard part.)