This guide is sponsored by Empower Healthcare. Their Hemp and Cannabis Foundation has helped over 220,000 patients across the country obtain a permit to legally possess, use, and grow medical marijuana. All of their physicians are fully licensed, experienced, well-informed, and compassionate. The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation has clinic locations all over the United States — call (800) 723-0188 to book an appointment!
Do you live in a legal medical marijuana state and are wondering how to become a valid medical cannabis patient? This quick step-by-step guide will help you locate a doctor or clinic that can recommend medical marijuana to help treat your illness or symptoms.
1. Check Out Your State's List of Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana
Each state has different qualifying medical marijuana conditions for its patients, and some are more restrictive (or more lenient) than others. It's important to check up on the laws in your state and read the fine print — certain states allow a recommendation at the discretion of the physician, based on each specific patient and his or her particular symptoms.
2. Obtain Your Medical Records
Contact your primary care physician regarding medical records related to your qualifying condition(s). The doctor will likely ask for health records that are within at least three months of your appointment. Sometimes your primary care physician can send your records right to the clinic during your appointment. Either way, it will save you and your doctor time if you come prepared.
3. Search for a Doctor in Your Area
Click “Find a Doctor” at the top of the Leafly website to see a list of relevant doctors near you. Not all doctors are alike, so it's helpful to find out more about your doctor or clinic before making an appointment. To help you narrow down your options, read through the doctor listings' reviews to see how other patients felt about their experience.
4. Schedule an Appointment
Leafly makes it easy to schedule an appointment with a doctor who specializes in medical marijuana – just make a few clicks on the doctor's listing page and you’re ready to go! Once you send the appointment request, you should receive a confirmation message from the clinic. Additionally, some clinics do not require appointments so you could always take a chance on a walk-in (but bring a book for the waiting room, just in case the clinic is busy).
5. Receive Your Medical Marijuana Recommendation
Each state has a different card or certification for medical marijuana. Many require you to bring in your valid certification every time you visit a dispensary, so you might want to laminate your paper certification to ensure it lasts until you need to renew (most states require that you renew your medical marijuana recommendation yearly or bi-annually).
6. Check Out a Nearby Dispensary
Once you receive your paperwork, select Find Nearby to see all available medical dispensaries near you. Keep in mind that any dispensary you choose to visit will have to verify the validity of your medical marijuana authorization by contacting the doctor or clinic that issued it, so there might be a slight delay between the time you contact a dispensary and when you're approved to pick up some strains or products.
Looking for a specific product or strain? Leafly also offers a Find Nearby button on our strain pages so you can see all available dispensaries carrying the strain you're interested in. If you’re looking for specific products such as concentrates or edibles, you can use the Advanced Filters on the Dispensary Finder to search by Dispensary Menu.
Ready to find a medical marijuana doctor? Start the process now!